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Wearable PPM Devices...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Something that has been in use since 2010 - wearable devices that measure radio listening will be made more portable and worn outside. The Portable People Meters used mostly indoors now will shrink in size and be tested on a large scale this year by Nielsen Audio. The company's managing director Brad Kelly told Inside Radio that should the testing results be successful, his company will integrate them into radio ratings samples in 2020...

The devices, using underlying technology will resemble a smartwatch or Fitbit. In 2019 Nielsen will compare data collected by the new meters with that from legacy PPM's to look for similarities and differences in the data. The analysis would also look at compliance levels and include an impact analysis. Kelly said "You want to do it right. You want to make sure that this new step in the evolution of the meter is doing what you need it to do and the compliance is there." Assuming everything checks out, Nielsen plans to begin putting wearables into the field as part of its live sample in 2020. Kelly added: "This is not an en-masse swap-out, it's an integration over time." ...

The PPM is no longer a radio-only data collection instrument. Nielsen plans to put the new wearables into service in its TV households, effectively integrating what are now separate radio and TV panels. The new devices have Bluetooth, enabling them to connect to Nielsen TV meters. Currently, Nielsen TV household members have to register each time they start and stop watching television. The TV meter is assigned to the television, not to an individual, so this sign-in process is how the TV meter knows who's watching. That will change when the new PPM devices are launched. This will allow the TV meter to know which participants are in the room, and when they leave the room, making registration 100% passive. One goal is to improve compliance levels for TV panels...

Kelly: "Here's a chance to leverage these wearables to integrate the separate radio PPM and TV [LPM and set top meters] panels, which would have huge implications for sample size." Kelly declined to provide an estimate of how large the sample increase would be. "It's not just applying to the TV piece of what Nielsen does. It's a PPM so it's simultaneously picking up radio listenership. So as I walk out the door, get in the car, turn on my car radio and listen, now I'm leveraging the fact that I've got these additional panelists out there and have significantly supplemented the PPM sample size."

What Kelly didn't disclose is whether or not respondents would get two incentives instead of one to become a panelist...

I(n)M(y)H(umble)O(pinion):

  • This is a good move for Nielsen. Some radio outfits and agencies have complained than the research firm has been dragging its heels a bit...
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  • High draft pick Saquon Barkley keeps getting rave reviews. I don't know if he that's great but I love his name...
  • I've just discovered "The Fall" on Netflix starring Gillian Anderson and Archie Panjabi. I like it...
  • The Cavs are not so invincible after all...
  • If the electric scooter fad moves east, I don't want to see them on the sidewalks of New York...
  • I like the idea of replacing plastic straws with paper ones...

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