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Nielsen Says 20% Of PPM Panelists Have Converted To Wearable Meters.

Three months after beginning to distribute new wearable PPM devices to panelists, Nielsen has updated clients on the rollout.

As of July 29, 15,589 panelists have the wearable, or about 20% of the total panel across all PPM markets. Based on past experience, Nielsen says it expects 50% to-75% of the panel will be converted to wearables by year-end 2022 with the rest coming on board in 2023.

As with live sample test results conducted among a subset of the PPM panel in fourth quarter 2021, Nielsen says the wearable is contributing to improved “in-tab” and longer carry times. July 2022’s Designated Delivery Index, the metric Nielsen uses to measure how well it meets its in-tab goals, averaged 107 among persons 12+ across all the markets. A DDI of 100 is considered ideal and anything above that indicates an over-performance. “This was the highest level this year, substantially improved versus the low point of 100 in February and 7 points higher than July of 2021,” Nielsen said in a communique to clients.

Consistent with last year’s live sample test, Nielsen says it is seeing longer carry times with the PPM wearable and higher in-tab rates during the panelist’s first 28 days. Meanwhile, 60% of online panelists and 75% of online households with a wearable have installed the companion smartphone app that enables panelists to track their points. This is mostly consistent with the Q4 subset of the panel, in which two-thirds of online panelists and 86% of households installed the companion app. In addition to allowing panelists to easily track their reward points and communicate directly with Nielsen, the smartphone app can also send the data from the wearable back to Nielsen more easily.

The rollout of the new PPM wearable started with the May 2022 monthly reporting period in 47 Audio metros (43 TV DMAs) and with the June 2022 reporting period in the Houston-Galveston DMA. Nielsen is using a mix of the current PPM device and the new wearables with newly recruited homes in 2022 to bring its PPM panels back to their previous levels, before supply chain disruptions caused a shortage of legacy meters. It says about two-thirds of homes recruited via telephone will be randomly selected to receive the PPM wearables and one-third will receive the current device. All new in-person recruited homes are scheduled to receive the PPM wearable.

"We're making great progress with the rollout of PPM Wearables and are very pleased with the outcome thus far,” Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio, told Inside Radio. “Converting nearly 20% of our panel to PPM wearables in just three months is a significant achievement, and I'm confident that we'll reach 50-75% by the end of 2022 with the rest following in 2023. The improvements we've observed with in-tab rates, device carry times, and companion app installs are solid indicators that PPM wearables will have positive and lasting impacts on Nielsen's audience measurement capabilities. I look forward to our continued progress with the rollout and the additional benefits we'll see from this upgrade."

Nielsen’s new PPM system gives panelists three choices of wearable devices: a wristband that looks like a Fitbit; a clip that can fit in your pocket or on your belt; or a pendant that can be worn around the neck. Other hardware components include a beacon and data hub installed in the home and a companion smartphone app, all of which are used to transmit media consumption behavior back to Nielsen’s servers. The beacon and data hub, both installed in the home, also detect whether the meter is at home or out of home.

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