MRC Won’t Accredit December PPM Radio Ratings

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MRCOn Nov10, RBR + TVBR asked, “How Significant Is Nielsen’s Newest PPM Problem?


Some five weeks later, we now know that the problem is pretty significant.

Media Rating Council (MRC) issued a statement Monday (12/19) confirming that it will withhold its accreditation from the Dec. 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM service reports for those markets in which the PPM service is currently accredited.

Accreditation of the December results will be withheld until such time that Nielsen Audio has fully addressed MRC’s inquiries and has completed additional analyses requested by MRC that demonstrate its satisfaction that the PPM service disruption that affected — at minimum — the first week of the December reporting period, has been addressed and appropriately disclosed “in a manner that is fully consistent with the MRC Minimum Standards for Media Rating Research.”

Trouble began after Nielsen conducted a move during the first week of November to a new audio data collection site resulted in some 8% of all installed PPMs losing connectivity, becoming inactive.

The connectivity issue could impact all PPM surveys, as data for the week ending Nov. 9 is potentially affected by inadvertent inactivity of the small amount of PPM devices.

Nielsen assured, “buyers and sellers will be able to transact business with confidence.”

MRC doesn’t buy it.

Since the PPM connectivity disruption, it says, Nielsen has shared information with MRC about the outage, and the steps taken following the discovery of the disruption.

“However, MRC believes the data analyses related to this incident with which we have been presented by Nielsen Audio, in addition to Nielsen Audio’s responses to a series of questions related to the incident that MRC has raised to Nielsen Audio, are incomplete,” MRC says.

Therefore, MRC and its Radio Committee and board of directors cannot conclude as yet on the matter, it adds.

Nielsen has committed to continue to work with MRC on this issue, MRC says.

In its own statement, Nielsen responded to MRC by saying, “Following the PPM connectivity issue during week one of the December survey, Nielsen’s Data Science team conducted a rigorous analysis of data quality and we firmly stand behind the December PPM monthly estimates. The sample performance for the December report is in line with the standards that have been used in prior months for the 26 accredited markets. While we disagree with the MRC’s decision to withhold accreditation of the December PPM monthly data, Nielsen remains committed to the MRC accreditation process.”

RBR + TVBR


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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.