If you hear champagne corks popping at The Nielsen Company, it’s because the Media Rating Council (MRC) has voted to accredit all 25 Local People Meter (LPM) markets. The MRC had previously renewed accreditation for Nielsen’s National People Meter service.
The latest action by the MRC accredited local ratings under LPM for the first time for 15 markets and renewed accreditation for the first 10 LPM markets. As a result, Nielsen says local ratings for the 25 largest US TV markets, representing 49% of the population and 64% of the local commercial ad spend, will now carry the MRC double-checks.
“Nielsen and the MRC share a commitment to improving measurement quality and by working together on this common goal we have achieved continuous improvement in our television ratings. Today our quality metrics are better than they’ve ever been,” said Sabrina Crow, Nielsen SVP and Managing Director, Local Client Television Services in announcing the accreditation.
The company noted that the MRC accreditation process resulted in several new initiatives to improve its Active/Passive (AP) meter system, such as checking every meter in a sample home to ensure that it is properly detecting codes, establishing back-up sites in each market for redundant signal monitoring and identifying low-performing stations so that their code delivery performance can be corrected.
“The MRC Television Committee, in particular, played a crucial role in helping us develop these initiatives to improve meter quality. These steps have allowed us to achieve greater transparency with the television industry, which has led to more confidence among clients that Nielsen is doing everything possible to ensure that television ratings are comprehensive and accurate,” Crow said.
RBR-TVBR observation: Once controversial, LPM data is now pretty much universally accepted as currency for buying and selling local television by stations and ad buyers alike. The big issue now is over which data stream(s) should be used as currency. That, however, does not bear on accreditation or accuracy.