Nielsen announced a timetable to bring Local People Meters (LPM) to 38 additional markets by 2011. That will put LPMs in 56 of the top 63 markets, including all of the top 38.
"This is a tremendous step forward for television measurement in these markets. Nielsen is committed to continuous improvement in its measurement services and converting markets to our electronic Local People Meters will significant improve the quality of our local measurement. As a key part of this process, we are also committed to working closely with the clients and stakeholders in every market to make the transition as smooth as possible," said Susan Whiting, Executive Vice President, the Nielsen Company, and Chairman, Nielsen Media Research.
When LPMs are introduced into the full 56 local markets, about 70% of US households will be measured by People Meters. As a consequence, there will be continuous demographic reporting in these markets 365 days per year. Nielsen noted that this will allow local markets to receive demographic information for events such as March Madness, playoff games, award shows, and Christmas holiday programming, which typically air outside traditional "sweeps" measurement periods.
Eight markets were already scheduled to switch to LPM ratings yet this year or next, completing the roll-out in the top 18 markets. The 38 additional markets just announced are to go live with LPMs from January 2009 through October 2011.
TVBR/RBR observation: Back on March 2, 2006, 03/02/06 TVBR # 43, Nielsen made two important decisions. Decision 1: Turned thumbs down on a joint PPM venture with Arbitron. Decision 2: Was told that it needed to be able to measure video viewing from new sources, such as the Internet and iPods, with the same quality by which it measures television. "Basically, follow the video." So, it has been doing just that with refined technology, new services and projects still in the works. Got to give Nielsen guys some credit 17 months later through buyout, restructuring they have stayed focused to that now great branding phrase: Nielsen – Follow The Video.