Can Set Meters Save Money?
A Comparison of Set Meter and Peoplemeter Panel Costs
Ephron Papazian & Ephron, Inc.
Adcom Information Services
There is considerable interest here and
overseas in the set meter panel (with viewing modeled) as an
alternative to the current peoplemeter panel technique. The
attraction of the set meter is its lower cost and better
Set meters are used extensively in
television audience measurement. They are a part of the standard
meter/diary package employed by Nielsen Media Research in the
larger TV markets. At this time viewer modeling techniques are
used only for local cable audience estimates.
Modeling viewers from set meter tuning data
to produce a more cost-effective ratings system is an old idea.
It was first suggested in a paper to the Royal Statistical
Society by Ehrenberg and Twyman in 1966.1 The authors
argued that it is not cost-effective to repeatedly measure
behavior that shows little variation, such as viewers-per-set.
The money would be better spent measuring behavior that varies
widely, such as channel tuned.