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People Meter Technology Brings Miami More Accurate Ratings

2 minute read | May 2009

Case Study: Nielsen’s People Meter Technology Brings Miami More Accurate Picture of TV Viewers

Nielsen is in the process of installing electronic meters – called Local People Meters (LPM) – in the largest TV markets.  The roll-out of LPMs in Miami in Oct 2008 provides a good case study on how technology can make local TV ratings more accurate and representative of the local population than ever before.

Nielsen’s electronic People Meters measure what people really watch and do not rely on the memories of people filling out the paper diaries, as was the case in Miami before the transition to LPMs.  This is increasingly important in a TV world where people change the channel frequently and have access to DVRs and several hundred TV networks.

The Miami LPM sample does a better job of representing the market than the set meter/diary sample it replaced.

  • The LPM sample has approximately 600 TV homes, which is 13% more households than in the previous sample. This means it does a better job of representing diverse communities in Miami, especially Spanish-speaking homes.

  • There are 81% more people in the LPM sample than there were in the set meter/diary sample.

  • There are almost 700 Hispanics in Nielsen’s Miami LPM sample, which is up 88% from the paper diary sample Nielsen used to use.  African-Americans in Nielsen’s LPM sample are up 83% more.

  • Younger viewers are also represented more in Nielsen’s Miami LPM sample

    • There are +111% more people age 18-34
    • There are + 93% more people age 25-54

  • Because Nielsen recruits sample families in-person in Miami, it has a better response rate than the previous sample. The LPM response rate is 45.4% compared to the 24.5% for the set meter sample.

There are a number of technological advantages to using LPMs rather than paper diaries.

  • The People Meter technology used in Miami is the same technology that has been used since 1987 to measure National TV Ratings.

  • Nielsen can now provide TV viewing measurement in Miami 365 days a year with Local People Meters. This means no more “sweeps” periods.

  • LPM ratings are available soon after the viewing occurs, which enables programmers and advertisers to make immediate decisions. In contrast, paper diaries only provide ratings four times a year during sweeps months, and the ratings are not available until more than a month after the viewing occurs.

To learn more about Nielsen’s LPM sample in Miami, click here.

Additional Links:

Want to understand more about how Nielsen measures TV usage in the U.S.?

Click here.

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