Passive VS. button pushing

Date of publication: June 18, 2004

Abstract:

The authors report findings from an extensive analysis comparing two TV meter panels in Quebec and Canada; the TNS Picture Matching technology (PMT) and Arbitron's Portable People meter (PPM). Paramount in this comparison is the passive nature of reported viewing in the PPM panel versus the button-pushing task required of the PMT panel. Running in parallel for almost one year, the panels reveal important information on compliance in both the 'carrying' task and the button pushing task, individual viewing behaviour, the efficacy of the PPM technology in a complex TV measurement environment, and the reasons for differences in the audience measurements. The authors provide an assessment of degree to which various factors impact the ratings differences between button pushing and passive meter systems, and argue that button-pushing non-compliance accounts for most of the difference.

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