Presentation on theme: "Broadcast Audience Measurement Ratings and beyond."— Presentation transcript:
Broadcast Audience Measurement Ratings and beyond
Audience measurement One of the most significant forms of practical research is the measurement of audiences for electronic media content – Became a major issue when radio began carrying commercials – Expanded tremendously with television – Has become far more sophisticated and more difficult with the explosion of electronic media
Measuring radio audiences Why was radio audience measurement such an issue when film audience measurement wasn’t? – Advertising—those buying time had no idea how many people would actually hear their commercials – Advertisers (represented by their agencies) wanted to know which of the stations, shows, etc. to place their spots on
So what was the first ‘measure’ of audience size for radio shows?
Enhancements of fan mail ‘measurement’ Shows began to request fan mail – “If you like us, send us a letter” Prizes, contests – Lum and Abner offered free newspapers – 50,000 mailed in cigar bands for Kate Smith’s picture But what % of listeners actually wrote? Were writers/contest respondents regular listeners or just occasional/one-time?
Survey methods applied to audience measurement Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting (CAB) 1929 Crossley’s surveys of radio listening – Phone survey of thousands of listeners in 33 cities – recall of listening that morning, afternoon or previous day Concern over respondents’ memory of actual listening Sample problems Expensive
Hooperatings based on 11 million phone calls per year in 103 cities asking about “coincidental” listening (what they were listening to at the time of the call) – Also asked about advertising Less concern over memory Continued high cost
Diary methods instituted Hooper developed a diary service in NYC in 1947 American Research Bureau began in 1949 with a diary service (Later became Arbitron) Panel recruited for completion of diaries evaluating listener/viewership over extended periods of time
Hooperatings came out on top In 1941 CAB adopts coincidental method In 1946 CAB discontinued In 1950, Hooper sold national radio and tv ratings business to A. C. Nielsen
Local v. national ratings Local ratings for many DMAs still collected via diary methods – In some larger markets, set meters and surveys combined Rollout of local people meters began in mid- 2000s – Currently in 25 markets Recently accredited by Media Ratings Council (MRC) – Likely will eventually displace diaries or else be superseded by PPM or set-top data
Problems with people meters Undercounting of certain audiences – Children Mechanical failure Expense – Increased sample size required for fractionated audience Disruption of normal viewing behavior Annoyance of sample members
Measurement innovation Passive systems – Inaudible signals – Set-top-box measurement Multi-screen measurement – Portability for out of home exposure Individual rather than household orientation
Leading innovation--PPM A small (pager-sized) system that receives and processes inaudible signals carried over electronic media Whenever the PPM comes within range of a source emitting such a signal it identifies the source and makes a record of the time Demographic, etc. info about the person whose PPM it is will be included in the database
But it may be that simply determining that someone is in the proximity of a medium carrying video content is not a good measure of ‘exposure’ to the content, much less exposure to or engagement with the commercial content
Focus on advertising, engagement Advertisers want estimates of audiences for commercials rather than programming – A large percentage of the audience leaves the room during commercial pods – Zipping and Zapping – DVRs removing commercial content Engagement with material has an important influence on the effectiveness of commercials – Not just whether people are in the room but whether they are engaged with the content
The video world changes Cable networks and the fractionalization of audiences Switch to digital Time-switching – VCRs – DVRs Distribution of content via Internet, mobile Out-of-home viewing Individualization of viewing
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