TV audience measurement around the world

Date of publication: May 1, 1994


There is increasing interest in the "Digital Superhighway”. How will TV audience measurement cope with this radical change in the medium? Many believe that the fast approaching fractionated and mobile television environment will necessitate a radically new measurement system that is at once portable, passive and people based. In an effort to find out what is going on in television audience measurement in other major countries around the world, BBM Bureau of Measurement commissioned New Electronic Media Science of New York to conduct a worldwide survey. The survey was designed to find out the methods currently in use for television audience measurement, levels of satisfaction with these present methods and the extent to which countries other than the U.S., Canada and Australia are moving towards passive people meters, portable or otherwise. This paper presents the results of the worldwide telephone survey. It appears that the push-button people meter is at the zenith of its development cycle, with systems operating in 30 of the 34 countries examined. Most of the systems have been introduced in the last three years, but a third of the people meter countries are already considering a shift to passive measurement -- a move that has strong support in almost all the countries surveyed, especially those with more experience of the conventional push button people meter.

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