Nielsen Making Wearable PPMs
Last week at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nielsen debuted prototypes of its next gen PPM devices. The new hardware comes in two forms – a wristband which resembles a Fitbit watch, and a pendant that can be affixed to clothing. Both are light years ahead of today’s pager-looking PPMs which look like something straight out of a Miami Vice scene.
The new PPM designs represent Nielsen’s attempt to solve a long-festering problem with their measurement platform. As panelists refused to wear the PPM pagers, because they were bulky or looked goofy, Nielsen couldn’t pick up encoded signals in stations those listeners were exposed to. Over the years this forced Nielsen to calculate ratings with fewer and fewer participating panelists in their pool, making radio ratings less stable.
PPM wearables is a huge step in the right direction to be sure. Now if Nielsen can only commit to modernizing the 100+ smaller radio markets which still use paper diaries. Maybe wearables made out of paper for starters? 🙂