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(Slate)   Nielsen, no longer able to get meaningful ratings from television due to the proliferation of DVRs, decide to get their ratings from Twitter. Prepare for #Hashtagocalypse   (slate.com) divider line 72
    More: Sad, DVRs, Nielsen, Nielson, Twitter, nuclear proliferation, metric  
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1524 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Dec 2012 at 1:15 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-19 12:32:20 PM  

moothemagiccow: Wayne 985: moothemagiccow: Ivo Shandor: The technician said that they were working on ways to deal with DVRs (e.g. by fingerprinting the audio stream during playback) but the technology wasn't ready for general deployment yet.

If they were smart enough to get in on the ground floor it seems a hell of a lot easier than that.


Huh? I don't get your point. They should've been smart enough to have better tech before it was ready?

DVRs already know what you're watching. You tell them.


Actually, the biggest problem with DVRs is that they don't know what you're watching, they only know what's on. My DVRs are both on TBS right now and have been since about 10:00 last night when I started watching Conan in the living room and then finished watching in the bedroom. Of course, I haven't been watching that entire time and actually fell asleep about 10:45. But according to my DVR, I've been watching TBS that entire time.

DVRs also can't tell who is watching, which is the most important thing Nielsen does.

t3knomanser: dragonchild: Nielsen sells "information" and is furthermore a de facto monopoly as their whole business is about providing "information" that can't be duplicated by anyone else, and therefore can't be independently tested for reliability.  If it wasn't for the fact that their clients are marketers (read:  morons), this is exactly how NOT to establish a favorable business reputation.

That's exactly the point I was trying to make. I worded it poorly, so thanks.


Except that what Nielsen does isn't exactly hard. There have been competitors in the past, but they've failed, for the most part, because they've been unable to prove that their methods are significantly better than Nielsen's

I can't speak to their exact process but Nielsen has been subject to years of questioning, multiple protests (especially when they introduced the people meters), and multiple Congressional inquiries (especially when it comes to minority sampling). Do you really think in all that time nobody has asked that question and been given a sufficient answer? And what incentive does Nielsen have to give crappy data? Their entire business is built around their sampling methods. Don't you think they'd want to make sure they were above reproach?
 
2012-12-19 12:54:03 PM  
Errr...doesn't Nielsen do its research by just asking people what they are watching at any given day, and then they write it on a diary thingy? You know, pen and paper.
 
2012-12-19 01:07:52 PM  

rugman11: I can't speak to their exact process but Nielsen has been subject to years of questioning, multiple protests (especially when they introduced the people meters), and multiple Congressional inquiries (especially when it comes to minority sampling). Do you really think in all that time nobody has asked that question and been given a sufficient answer?

 
Yes.

rugman11: And what incentive does Nielsen have to give crappy data?


It's cheaper and easier.
 
2012-12-19 02:05:03 PM  

REO-Weedwagon: It's just been announced today that Nielsen has now purchased Arbitron, the radio ratings company. It's like a pit of media puke.


So, no more free money in the mail? Aww... Shucks.

/If you EVER get something from Arbitron, open it. There will be a dollar enclosed and if you respond, they send you more cash.
//The second time they ask you, they send $5.
 
2012-12-19 02:23:21 PM  

Pick: Eh, Nielson family here. We have equipment installed inside our DirecTV DVR, that is hooked to their monitoring equipment. So..............blows that article to smithereens.


I think every tivo user is a neilson family. I could be wrong, but that's how I understood the terms of service. I record Conan and set it to play with the TV off when I don't like who is on.
 
2012-12-19 02:27:50 PM  
Also CSB bro time,
I signed up to be an internet Neilson household. Installed the program on an old computer that I gave away and kept getting checks for another year and a half. $20 savings bond every six months.
 
2012-12-19 02:38:09 PM  

clkeagle: 1) Let them know that the "flashbacks" fad is making shows unwatchable.


I hate episodes that start with the main characters in mortal danger, and then reveal it's all a flash forward. Then: 8 hours earlier... 2hours earlier... 3 days earlier... Start your damn story with something interesting and you wont have to 'flash' to the good parts.
 
2012-12-19 02:51:38 PM  

dragonchild: Someone who accuses Nielsen of being out of touch, thinks Nielsen is in the interest of collecting and accurately reporting feedback.
 
Is there a punchline I missed somewhere?


Nah, just felt like a good rant.
 
2012-12-19 02:53:30 PM  
If this was done 2 years ago SGU might still be around and V would have been given a proper closer.
 
2012-12-19 03:16:34 PM  

Decillion: I hate episodes that start with the main characters in mortal danger, and then reveal it's all a flash forward. Then: 8 hours earlier... 2hours earlier... 3 days earlier... Start your damn story with something interesting and you wont have to 'flash' to the good parts.


I blame the movie Memento for that.  If you splice Memento back into chronological order, it's an otherwise cliche revenge story with a rather unconvincing twist beginning.  The reason for showing it "backwards" was to give the audience the experience of anterograde amnesia, which was a unique device for plot development.  It's the difference between its creative spark and a confusing mess of a bad story.  However, the cynic in me bets that some directors noticed that it started with a grisly shooting and hooked the viewers enough to sit through the "boring" exposition.  Who died?  Why?  Etc., etc.  Here was a safe way to get their stories pitched to producers that never grew out of being douchebag 13-year-old boys, for which things like character development was "boring" while explosions were exciting (but expensive so we won't budget for that).  (They also like T&A which is cheap, but they've got prudes to please.)
 
After all, the climax is supposed to be the most exciting part of a story.  If Memento showed you can start with the climax and build up the context afterward, why not do that for everything?
 
2012-12-19 04:06:18 PM  

rugman11: Actually, the biggest problem with DVRs is that they don't know what you're watching, they only know what's on. My DVRs are both on TBS right now and have been since about 10:00 last night when I started watching Conan in the living room and then finished watching in the bedroom. Of course, I haven't been watching that entire time and actually fell asleep about 10:45. But according to my DVR, I've been watching TBS that entire time.


You didn't record 16 hours of TV. Maybe your DVR being a function of your cable box is confusing.
 
2012-12-19 04:28:48 PM  

moothemagiccow: rugman11: Actually, the biggest problem with DVRs is that they don't know what you're watching, they only know what's on. My DVRs are both on TBS right now and have been since about 10:00 last night when I started watching Conan in the living room and then finished watching in the bedroom. Of course, I haven't been watching that entire time and actually fell asleep about 10:45. But according to my DVR, I've been watching TBS that entire time.

You didn't record 16 hours of TV. Maybe your DVR being a function of your cable box is confusing.


I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here. There are two ways for DVRs/cable boxes to measure viewership. The first is just to measure what the cable box is showing. This is problematic because, as I mentioned, it's incapable of distinguishing between active viewing and the cable box simply being on. The second is to measure what's recorded on the DVR, but most people don't record everything they watch. And neither system is capable of measuring which commercials are actually viewed (those fast-forwarded through) or providing demographic details, like Nielsen does.
 
2012-12-19 06:13:43 PM  

dababler: If this was done 2 years ago SGU might still be around and V would have been given a proper closer.


Nielsen rated timeshifted viewing has been around a lot longer than 2 years.

FTFH: "Nielsen, no longer able to get meaningful ratings from television due to the proliferation of DVRs,..."

Subby seems to be painfully unaware of the concept of timeshifted viewing as well. Nielsen and Advertisers have been using (or ignoring) those data streams for quite a number of years, now. As a matter of fact, Nielsen is still the big dog for viewer measurement and they just bought radio-ratings competitor Arbitron.
 
2012-12-19 07:20:59 PM  

way south:
/Network executives cancelled Swat Cats to make more Captain planet.
/This is a fact.


They are also well aware that the vast majority will watch something not because it is good but because they are told it is popular; thus it generally becomes popular (for a time). This applies double for children when dealing with a marketing campaign wrapped in a kids show.

They killed Swat Cats and told you Captain Planet was better because 'everyone is watching it'. So you watched Captain Planet instead because 'everyone else is'.

You probably enjoyed the cheese and green mullet as well and for the exact same reason.
 
2012-12-19 10:49:36 PM  

urban.derelict: Television makes you STUPID

/it's the original WMD
//D being DISTRACTION


Yeah, yeah, and the 50s was a utopia where our childrens could stay out late, no one got divorced and certain folk knew their place.

/Pepperidge Farm remembers
 
2012-12-20 03:04:51 AM  
Twitter sucks. If you use it, go take 1000 x-ray photos of your gonads
 
2012-12-20 02:34:23 PM  
rugman11: I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here. There are two ways for DVRs/cable boxes to measure viewership. The first is just to measure what the cable box is showing. This is problematic because, as I mentioned, it's incapable of distinguishing between active viewing and the cable box simply being on. The second is to measure what's recorded on the DVR, but most people don't record everything they watch. And neither system is capable of measuring which commercials are actually viewed (those fast-forwarded through) or providing demographic details, like Nielsen does.

TiVos keep track of what recordings you play. And the typical use case for tivo owners is that they rarely watch live TV. So they do record practically everything that they watch (that's the whole point of a DVR in the first place).

// tivo even knows what parts of a show people fast forward through, etc.

// these stats are all anonymouse, and optional (IE, you can turn off the tracking).
 
2012-12-20 03:48:55 PM  

lordargent: And the typical use case for tivo owners is that they rarely watch live TV. So they do record practically everything that they watch (that's the whole point of a DVR in the first place).


Do you have a citation for this? My wife and I use our DVR heavily, but we don't record Conan or TBS's repeats of The Office, which we watch every night. I don't record any of the sports I watch nor do we record any of the random stuff we put on on the weekends while we're cleaning the house or doing oher things.

And that doesn't factor in that less than half of all households with a television have either digital cable or a TiVo subscription, so the data you're getting from those systems isn't going to be in any way representative of the populaion as a whole.
 
2012-12-20 04:46:23 PM  
rugman11: Do you have a citation for this? My wife and I use our DVR heavily, but we don't record Conan or TBS's repeats of The Office, which we watch every night. I don't record any of the sports I watch nor do we record any of the random stuff we put on on the weekends while we're cleaning the house or doing oher things.

I referred specifically to TiVo owners. Anyway, you wanted references.

TiVo Research Claims Only 38 Percent Of Users Watch Live TV

Only 38% of TiVo users EVER watch live television.
And only 27% of TiVo users who have their TiVo hooked up to broadband ever watch live television.

// I assume some of that live TV is sports, like the superbowl, I didn't delve too much into the source data, does watching just the superbowl count the person as having watched live TV? Or does it require more significant live TV watching?

// The whole premise of TiVo, since the Series 1, was to never watch live TV (because then you can't skip commercials). From what I've seen in my years of visiting tivocommunity.com, I think a lot of owners share this sentiment.
 
2012-12-20 04:47:03 PM  
 
2012-12-20 05:40:30 PM  
This sucks, I did that ratings thing twice - they pay $20 cash a pop to log your TV watching for a week.
 
2012-12-22 09:25:51 AM  
This doesn't make sense, the move to streaming and dvrs should make ratings easier to track.
 
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