Towards harmonization of TV audience measurement
This paper sets out to summarise and to invite comment and criticism of the recently published 2nd edition of the EBU guidelines "Towards Harmonization of Television Audience Measurement Systems". It has been a collaborative venture involving representatives of all parties to the broadcast media business, from both the broadcasters themselves and from both the advertising agency and advertiser sectors. The principal emphasis of the paper is on what is new to the 2nd edition: The organisational principles desirable for a national system, to obtain wide-ranging user group participative consultation, methodological transparency and even-handed data access arrangements, Rather more than in the first edition of how to collect reliable and valid TV viewing data, via the peoplemeter as a device for registering the viewing behaviour of individual household members. Rather more than in the first edition on the issues of principle in the data reporting arrangements of a national system, and the low-cost powerful PC-based data access options open to the user. The challenges that lie around the comer. In particular we draw attention to the more immediate issues on which a consensus within the media research community has still to be reached, including: Selection of panel homes - probability procedures v panel controls. Enforced panel turnover. The definition of "viewing" Editing rules. Reporting algorithms. Comprehensiveness of Channel reporting. Access to data, both at an aggregated and disaggregated level. Issues of standardisation in reporting conventions.
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