TV audience measurement

Date of publication: May 1, 1994

Author: Thomas Neumann


The paper discusses the needs of the advertisers from media research in the dramatically changed TV environment many expect to happen already in the next few years. The key change of the TV medium will be fragmentation caused by a multi-channel environment, interactivity, split-screens and TV screens with windows. The consequences for TV audience measurement will be dramatic as well as current people meter panels will not be sufficient any longer to report the fragmented audiences. Various approaches to handle this situation will be discussed although none of them looks really satisfactory for the time being. The research community is called for to develop the most suitable methods. Finally, the roles of the TV stations, the advertisers, and the research suppliers are reviewed. Particularly the TV stations will depend on proper audience data acceptable for both their advertiser clients as well as useful for their programming management. While early preparation for the TV environment of a few years away is important, this must not reduce the interest of the TV world to get top quality data for the current business. This means that the efforts of the past years to upgrade the quality of audience research in Europe and to harmonize the methods must be continued.

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