Television executives are increasingly concerned that paper diary measurement, a method from the 1950s to track TV viewing, excludes significant segments of the U.S. population, thus producing inaccurate ratings.
Diaries were never problem-free. Participants are asked to write in once a day what they watch on TV and when. The issues include inaccurate self-reporting, absence of households that should be represented in the samples, households declining to answer and long wait times for the data. The effort to analyze the diaries is massive: Nielsen uses diary measurement in 154 markets and processes two million diaries a year during “sweeps” periods.
Council for Research Excellence (CRE), a group of media measurement researchers including Nielsen executives, highlighted the biggest problem to date affecting diary data: a shortage of Blacks, Hispanics and young people among the participants.
How effective are diary measurements?
CRE addressed the issue at a “mini-summit” last week Tuesday in New York City. Read more