Local Stations Have Chosen Impressions Over Ratings. Nielsen Will Join Them

  • Variety
Local Stations Have Chosen Impressions Over Ratings. Nielsen Will Join Them
A bevy of owners of local TV stations have already moved to stop selling ads based on traditional TV ratings. Nielsen intends to start helping the effort next year.

The measurement giant, which has been under scrutiny in recent months for what media and advertising companies believe is a slower approach to transforming its long-held ratings of TV audiences, said it intends to follow many TV stations that have already adopted the use of overall viewer impressions. Both Nielsen’s national and local ratings methodologies have lost the backing of the Media Rating Council after the organization determined Nielsen has undercounted viewers amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The change is meant to spur advertisers to buy across multiple local outlets — not only the linear programs on a local TV station, but also the venues where that station may stream its local newsmagazine or early-morning news program. Some of
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