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Old September 15 2009, 03:52 AM   #12
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Companies Band Together To Find Better Ratings Source Than Nielsen

Now I'm part of the HomeScan "family" where we scan things we buy every week and get points. So why not a similar thing?
Because people who have high-tech devices like that one and TiVO hooked up to their TV, which permit the data to be captured directly, are not representative of the population as a whole. They are more white, educated, high income - the usual early-tech-adopter profile. There is already an ongoing shitstorm regarding the under-represenation of minorities in Nielsens, without making it even worse.

And if you were thinking about providing those boxes for free to every household in America, I get dizzy just thinking about how much that would cost. Whatever marginal increase in advertising accuracy that accomplishes would be wiped out a million times over by the expense.

How come there are some shows they say "oh the ratings weren't there." but then people come out of the woodwork demanding the show be put back. Petitions are made, letters get written, websites are formed. I would say that's a good indicator that "yeah this show does get watched. Fuck the ratings, put it back on."
That proves it gets watched by a vocal minority, that's all. It doesn't prove it's a minority large enough to be worth cultivating.

And if the advertisers want to get their product message out to more people, then encourage more fans of shows to sign up and maybe in exchange for doing surveys or submitting a log of viewing habits, they get shit from the advertisers.
If you want to use fan campaigns to do an end run around the networks, here's the better idea: have the fans go out and buy the products advertised. Maybe fill in a comment card mentioning that the purchase was for X show. Why bother with surveys? Just do what the advertisers want: give them your money. Advertisers will give you all the shit you want in exchange for your money. It's called shopping and it's the entire point of television.

That's what got Chuck another season - fans ate at Subway, Subway presumably saw its sales go up (they can easily tell if their sales are better than projected during the time they know a campaign like this is happening) and bingo, a low-rated show is magically saved. THAT is what I can see happening a lot more in the future, and it means Nielsens truly don't count because if the advertisers make the direct connection between a show and a spike in sales, what does anyone need Nielsens for?

But all of this is missing the important point that this consortium's goal is to measure stuff like ads on Hulu, for which there is currently no good system.

I mean Audi can advertise all they want on a show, but even if I was in their demo... I'm still not going to pay $59,000 for a car that I saw on TV.
All that proves is that Audi's advertising is inefficient, since they are wasting money on having you watch the ads, even though you are not in their target market - all ads are inefficient in exactly that way. But that's par for the course in advertising. I'm sure advertisers would love some way of not paying for anyone who isn't in the target market, but I can't envision how a system that efficient could ever be built. By somehow tracing the person from ad-viewing to auto-purchase and paying only for the ad-viewing that results in a sale? I'm sure the networks would looove that!

If there was nobody willing to buy Audis, the company would be out of business. So clearly there is a market for them to reach and TV is one of the ways for them to reach it. They just need to have some assurance that when the network gives them their data, it's accurate and complete.
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