Reaction Paper 1
Due: Feb. 23rd 2012
In the US, television programs use the Nielson rating to determine the size and composition of their audience. It is an audience measurement method that soon has become a primary source of use in the television industry around the world. On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to hear from our guest speaker about the Nielson rating in a practical use. It was very interesting how it is applied more in our everyday lives than I thought it would. I think the most interesting part of the presentation was his explanation of the potential bias within the Nielson system. I never knew that it was such a difficult process to attain information used for the method. I definitely learned a lot about how the Nielson rating is applied, and I find it very useful information because I want to go into marketing and advertising.
One of the key things that I learned about the Nielson ratings during the presentation was about “sweeps”. Before the presentation, I’ve never even come across the terminology in regards to the Nielson ratings. It is a certain time periods of the year where diaries are sent to sample households to gather information about who is watching and what they are watching. The sweeps are used in the months of November, February, May, and July where diaries are mailed to homes to measure their television-watching activities. The people in the household are instructed to keep tally of what each person in the household is watching. All these data are collected at the end of the month and it sets the basic information for local television stations as well as advertisers. It’s important for the television stations because they need to know what programs they should play and when they should schedule that program. They pay $55,000 a year for this service per year, and it seems like a lot of money, but I definitely do see benefits to it because advertisers/marketers use this information. They will... [continues]
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