Nielsen to “pause” at 25 LPM markets


The Nielsen Company has revised its roll-out schedule for Local People Meters (LPM). Charlotte’s LPM service launch has been delayed to January 2010. With six other markets launching in 2009, that will take the count to 25 markets – at which point Nielsen will put a temporary hold on any further roll-out while it assesses the economy.

As previously scheduled, Orlando, Sacramento and St. Louis LPM service will launch in January 2009. Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Portland, OR will launch in July. Then Charlotte will launch in January 2010 and Nielsen will go into a holding pattern.

“Beyond these 25 markets, we are taking a ‘pause’ and temporarily placing on hold the installation of LPM markets beyond Charlotte. We all face a very challenging economic climate. Our clients have made it clear that we need to work closely with them to establish the right pacing of LPM roll outs, determine the right business model in light of current market conditions, and identify the most appropriate People Meter technology for these mid-size markets. As 2009 progresses and the economic condition becomes clearer, we will be better positioned, along with our clients, to adjust our moving forward plans,” Nielsen said yesterday in a message to clients.

The company had announced back in 2006 that it intended to replace the meter/diary methodology with LPM in all 56 markets that were then served by set meters. That roll-out is now at 18. The six additions in 2009 and Charlotte in 2010 will take LPM to 25 markets before the “pause” takes place.

With those 25 markets, Nielsen says LPM will be measuring 49% of all US television households.