Panel Reboot? PPM Sample Sizes Bump Up


In a move that many may misinterpret as a direct response to a Portable People Meter (PPM) snafu some six weeks ago that resulted in some 8% of all installed PPMs losing connectivity, becoming inactiveNielsen on Wednesday announced that it will boost the effective sample size of its PPM panel by 10% across all markets and demographics.

The increase across all 48 PPM markets will begin in mid-2017.

Nielsen says that the panel boost is “part of its ongoing efforts to advance audio measurement.”

Indeed, when asked by RBR + TVBR if the 10% panel boost is in any way related to the issues with PPM that were addressed by Nielsen on Tuesday and by the Media Rating Council (MRC) on Monday, a Nielsen Audio spokesperson said, “No. This has been in the works for sometime.”

Nielsen’s enhanced PPM panel will have more than 80,000 installed meters.

Translation: On an average day more than 65,000 panelists will contribute to the PPM-based ratings, which are based on a PPM holder’s exposure to AM and FM stations, regardless of where they may be and if they are actively listening to the encoded stations. This ensures that listening by those who are not Nielsen Audio PPM panelists have their auditory preferences represented, and dates to the PPM’s initial roll-out by Arbitron some 12 years ago.

Nielsen Audio says the increase represents more than 6,000 additional panelists on a daily basis across the aggregate of PPM markets. The sample increase will be distributed proportionally across all demographics.

“An increase in the PPM sample size is the No. 1 priority for our clients,” said Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly. “With this investment, Nielsen is doubling down on its commitment to the radio industry and addressing the needs of our clients. We are thrilled to roll out this enhancement that will continue to build a stronger radio advertising marketplace.”

Megan Clarken, President for Nielsen Product Leadership, added, “Larger sample sizes are important due to the continuing fragmentation of audiences and the need for more granular analysis of the data. This expansion will be an important step forward in the accuracy and quality of our audio estimates. Increasing the size of our PPM panel will allow our clients to continue to share their story with confidence and in a way that resonates with advertisers.”