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Nielsen’s December Ratings Ouchy – Digital Gabe
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Nielsen’s December Ratings Ouchy

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Just when you thought Nielsen’s PPM audio measurement system couldn’t get any worse, comes word of another colossal screw up.  This time the problem appears to be a two day system-wide outage on Dec 3-4, which dropped measured listening in all 48 PPM markets to “abnormally low or non-existent” levels.

Nielsen is blaming this one on a “data processing issue”.  In other words, the PPM devices probably picked up radio station signals panelists were exposed to, but somehow the data didn’t make it into their overall ratings calculation.  The result was a complete void of listening on a Thursday and Friday in early December.  I’m guessing the broadcasters weren’t too happy to hear about this one.

As a reaction to this glitch Nielsen announced it would postpone and reissue its December ratings.  This probably means they’ll eliminate the two missing days and recalculate December as a truncated month.  So these ratings will be even less statistically reliable than the usual garbage Nielsen publishes.

Is anyone besides me ready for a new audio ratings measurement system yet?


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