Last September, Nielsen began phasing in 3,000 new PPM wearables as a subset of its nearly 66,000 active PPM panelists. The ratings company has been monitoring the behavior of the panelists using the wearables and will reveal the results of that analysis in a clients-only webinar at noon today (March 31).
When it first announced it was pressing the sleek, lightweight devices into the live sample, Nielsen said it wanted to ensure that the new system lines up demographically and ethnically with its target goals. Now clients are anxious to see how the new miniaturized meters performed.
Of the 3,000 wearables that were to be deployed starting in September, 2,000 were for existing panelists that would have their legacy meter replaced with the new one and the remaining 1,000 were for newly recruited households, the company told Inside Radio in August. “It’s a transition from one device to the other rather than a massive overhaul when you do a complete shutdown of one technology and light up the other,” Nielsen Audio Managing Partner Brad Kelly said then. “This is a smarter way of doing it and will get the industry comfortable with this over time as larger and larger percentages of the panel migrate to wearables.”
Before they started making their way into panelist homes last fall, the new meters underwent a battery of rigorous tests – in the lab, in focus groups and in the field. Those included dual carry tests, in which a group of panelists who timed out of the currency ratings panel were asked to carry, simultaneously, both the legacy device and a new wearable. Nielsen also re-contacted former panelists and invited them to carry a new wearable to monitor their habits and compare them to their previous carry times and patterns. Nielsen also asked test participants if they would be willing to download a companion app to their smartphone, which would transmit media consumption data back to Nielsen’s servers.
The results of those field tests had Nielsen feeling sufficiently confident about the new meters to deploy 3,000 of them into its live PPM panel. Now the company is ready to share the results of how they performed in key metrics like meter wear time and listening levels and what the next phase of their rollout might look like.