Supply chain shortages that have impacted everything from computer chips to lumber and plastics are taking their toll on an unexpected industry: media measurement. Nielsen has informed clients that ongoing global supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic will impact future shipments of PPM devices. And that is expected to affect the number of new PPM panelists it is able to recruit for its ratings reports.
According to the company, the primary manufacturer for Nielsen Portable People Meters told the measurement provider “they would be unable to fulfill the quantity of PPMs we had ordered and expected.” As a result, Nielsen’s data science and panel teams have lowered the projected number of panelist they will recruit “for the coming months to reflect the reduced PPM inventory projections.”
While Nielsen didn’t say how many fewer panelists it will be able to recruit, it did say that the issue will impact its Designated Delivery Index or DDI. That’s the metric Nielsen uses to measure how well it meets its in-tab goals. A 100 DDI is considered ideal. The company says that its persons 6+ DDI in aggregate across all PPM markets is likely to fall in “the mid-to high 90s for the next several months."
The company says it took “substantial actions” in the second half of 2021 to build its PPM inventory for new recruits and mitigate supply chain impacts in the coming months. These efforts included expanding manufacturing to multiple production plants across several locations, diversifying manufacturing suppliers and increasing the lead time for PPM pre-orders. It also looked into ways to accelerate recruitment when enough PPM inventory becomes available.
New wearable PPM devices could help mitigate the issue. The timetable for rolling out the sleek, lightweight devices could be sped up, the company said.
Late last year Nielsen began to deploy about 3,000 new PPM wearables as a subset of its active PPM panelists. That included 2,000 earmarked for existing panelists that would have their legacy meter replaced with the new one. The remaining 1,000 were intended for newly recruited households. The plan was to monitor their behavior until February 2022.
“We continue to actively monitor potential impacts to PPM inventory due to global supply chain challenges. We are moving rapidly to evaluate PPM wearables in the subset of the panel and bringing them online as quickly as possible,” a Nielsen spokesperson said in a statement. “We are confident these steps will enable us to further mitigate risk, identify potential issues more quickly and ensure the accuracy and representativeness of our audience estimates. We have also taken substantial actions designed to build the PPM inventory for new recruits and mitigate supply chain impacts in the coming months.”