(Me IRL, reconstructing Nielsen Data Flaw timeline.)
There are many criticisms of Nielsen’s system of tv-viewing measurement (self-reported data, paper diaries, tiny samples…i could go on…), but they’re rarely publicly acknowledged by Nielsen itself.
As somebody intensely confused by the internalized legitimacy of Nielsen and traditional television (compared to Internet video + its larger and more precisely targeted variety of measurement options), I’ve been infatuated with this story.
If you’re interested in this stuff, you can eavesdrop/follow my note-taking process on Storify, whose platform is pretty decent for collecting links, tweets, pictures, and filling stuff in with notes.
I’ve also embedded the storify at the very bottom of this post, but since embedding isn’t 100% neat + tidy, it’s probably best to just view directly on Storify’s site.
Scroll down to read perzadook's notes on this. He makes some great points about this probably just being tip of the Nielsen data iceberg.
Note 1: Storify does not automatically refresh changes, so hit refresh to see any changes made. I put a timestamp at top of the doc, so you don’t need to squint for “what changed?!?!”
Note 2: I’m aware of Reddit’s Reddit Live tool. It also allows you to collect notes + objects from a variety of sources, but haven’t played with it enough yet to know if it’s a good fit for something that’s 1) authored by just one person 2) not “breaking” 3) looks decent embedded. However, I’m aware that it automatically refreshes, unlike Storify. That’s got me interested.
(image credit: crazywalls)
tweets, links, and notes. though this is published, it is not complete. additions/corrections welcome. - @bluechoochoo on twitter
The short story here is that Nielsen has been reporting bad data. They serve a $70 billion ad industry, so when data is bad, lots of people lose money (or “earn” when they shouldn’t).
And since the actual TV show ratings are messed up that could, in theory, lead to an entire show being cancelled. It all just depends on how screwed up the data is.
The longer story is that It’s highly unlikely this is the only case of bad data. Advertisers and networks have long been suspicious of Nielsen reporting. And companies like comScore and Rentrak are slowly eating away at Nielsen’s complete dominance over TV ratings. When respected companies like these two come up with different ratings, that’s a problem.
So, is this a concerted effort to take down the king? Probably not, but it’s definitely a surgical strike of sorts. Stayed tuned to bluechoochoo's storify link above.