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Old September 17 2009, 11:50 PM   #16
23skidoo
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Re: Companies Band Together To Find Better Ratings Source Than Nielsen

They need to do something. Neilsen has destroyed more televised art than anything. Yes, they need something to measure who is watching what, and not every show that we love is going to appeal to enough people to justify the expense. I get that. But as far back as the 1960s people were proving impirically that Neilsen was inaccurate in many cases. I refer to Star Trek TOS which may not have been cancelled in 1969 if certain criteria were applied.

Today, Neilsen is even less relevant because of all the different media choices available. A show may air on a network one night, be replayed a few nights later, and then streamed online, and also be downloaded (legally or otherwise). But too often the ratings apply to only the first night. People who hate Enterprise refuse to believe this, but there was plenty of evidence provided in this very forum 6-7-8 years ago that showed Neilsen wasn't showing the full picture when it came to that show's viewership. I'll never forget Connor Trinneer pleading with Starlog readers not to watch the weekend rerun because all Nielsen cared about was Wednesday. And at the time Enterprise was on, the whole idea of watching TV shows online was still in its infancy, as was the notion that many people don't watch shows until they hit DVD now.

Case in point, I'm not planning to watch Fringe this season - I'll buy the DVD later. Yet under Nielsen's decades-old criteria, if I'm not in front of my TV tonight at 8 or whenever, I don't count. Yet, frankly, there's zero difference between me deferring viewing a show for X number of months till the DVD arrives and if I'd videotaped the thing and watched it a few weeks later. And in most respects it's better because I'm paying for the privledge.

The only problem with coming up with Nielsen 2.0 is that I honestly can't think of a truly accurate way to measure viewership without entering into Big Brother territory - tracking what we watch on our DVD players or iPods or computers.

Alex
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Old September 18 2009, 03:11 AM   #17
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Companies Band Together To Find Better Ratings Source Than Nielsen

Case in point, I'm not planning to watch Fringe this season - I'll buy the DVD later. Yet under Nielsen's decades-old criteria, if I'm not in front of my TV tonight at 8 or whenever, I don't count.
Now you're making things even more complicated. Remember, this isn't about measuring program viewing. It's about measuring advertising. No ads on a DVD, therefore it doesn't need to be part of the overall ad-measurement system.

Your DVD purchase certainly will count. The studio making Fringe will add that to its balance sheet. But Fox still needs to make $$ too. Maybe Fox is the producing studio but that's not always the case.

The new system is about adding up every speck of advertising viewing that can be obtained, whether on broadcast, ads on Hulu, or whatever. But keep in mind that shows don't survive because they make money. They survive because they make more money than other shows. It's all relative. If the newly counted ads benefit all shows across the board, the ones on the bubble will still be on the bubble.

The only problem with coming up with Nielsen 2.0 is that I honestly can't think of a truly accurate way to measure viewership without entering into Big Brother territory - tracking what we watch on our DVD players or iPods or computers.
We're safe from Big Brother for the foreseeable future because our viewing habits aren't worth the immense expense that spying on us would entail. Whatever the new system is, it will continue to be an approximation and anyone who dislikes the numbers will find a million reasons to discredit them. But as long as the advertisers like the numbers, that's all anyone cares about.
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Old September 18 2009, 04:13 AM   #18
Marc
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Re: Companies Band Together To Find Better Ratings Source Than Nielsen

23skidoo wrote: View Post

Case in point, I'm not planning to watch Fringe this season - I'll buy the DVD later. Yet under Nielsen's decades-old criteria, if I'm not in front of my TV tonight at 8 or whenever, I don't count. Yet, frankly, there's zero difference between me deferring viewing a show for X number of months till the DVD arrives and if I'd videotaped the thing and watched it a few weeks later. And in most respects it's better because I'm paying for the privledge.



Alex
As long as TV is dependant on advertising revenue Neilsen ratings and the like will continue to be predominant. Sure you might buy Fringe on DVD down the track which is money towards for the producers, it's not producing revenue to the tv network that shows it. When it comes to setting the pricing for advertising next time, the ad agencies will look at the number of people who watched then and there.

Anyone who buys DVDs or DVRs thus skipping ads is irrelevant to the situation.

Or to put it simply, you deicision to by Fringe on DVD might help them make the next season but it won't guarentee when or where it will air.
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Old September 18 2009, 03:02 PM   #19
Morpheus 02
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Re: Companies Band Together To Find Better Ratings Source Than Nielsen

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
i know using digital cable boxes would give incomplete results...but i would be interested to see how their numbers compare to nielsen ratings (total numbers as well as sample sets).
It would tell you what shows rich white people like. The Nielsens certainly deliver that sort of demographic data to advertisers, so the digital cable boxes wouldn't be adding anything new.

and certainly, there is a way to select samples, which includes a more acuurate sample of minorities.
If you're fine with the idea of TV ratings via sampling, then Nielsens already does that, so why not stick with Nielsens? The only advantage of digital boxes is that they could in theory cover 100% of households, so that any errors in sampling are no longer a problem.

In today's world, all kinds of people,of different ethnicities and incomes, have cable or sattelite TV.
But not in the same proportion, and that would throw off the numbers. Also, cable and satellite isn't going to give you a system for capturing viewing data directly - maybe the system could be augmented to allow that, but once again, too expense to be worth anyone's while. Stuff like TiVO that already does the feed-back are the things that are definitely skewed demographically.

And those that still only use broadcast...are they really in the marketing bracket that advertisers care about anyway?
If they're 18-49, sure. If they don't spend $ on cable, that's more money they can spend on what the advertisers buy.

Temis,

Here's the thing...Comcast already uses digital box results already..but not just to decide the fate of a particular show, but rather a whole network (a very small network,but a whole option nonetheless).

They used something to eliminate the AZN channel, a channel aimed at 2nd Generation Asian Americans, which was taken off the air last year.

Also, they sponsor channels such as CLTV, which shows CHicagoland news 24 hours a day (well, more like 13 1/2). CLTV isn't shown on broadcast, any sattellite, or even any other cable provider.

They must have some reliable way of showing why that channel is worth their resources?


The digital boxes (or a free adapter for those who "only" have basic cable) i would think would be cheaper in the long run, and more reliable. They can select which boxes to read in orer to fulfill their demographic requirements,and more efficiently than other methods...

Also, I certainly would be curious to see how their samples compare to "real" numbers. There's the statistical theory, but how does it compare to reality?
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Old September 18 2009, 05:24 PM   #20
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Companies Band Together To Find Better Ratings Source Than Nielsen

They must have some reliable way of showing why that channel is worth their resources?
I could call Comcast and ask em if they're spying on me. Never considered whether they've started doing that across the board, those bastards. But they can do market research in ways other than direct recording of viewing habits.

But keep in mind, once again, this consortium is not aimed at TV viewing really. It's aimed at all the non-TV methods by which consumers watch ads that are not currently being counted.

The digital boxes (or a free adapter for those who "only" have basic cable) i would think would be cheaper in the long run,
We're talking about American business! Since when do they ever consider the "long run." Just ask Detroit.
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