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We are experiencing inaccurate numbers for our post-buy reports due to low rates of return of Nielsen diaries. Is anyone else experiencing this issue? If so, how do you communicate this to clients? Are there other criteria you look at for post analyses?
You might take a look at Rentrak. If they have agreements with the satellite and cable operators in the markets you buy, they can deliver as much as 1 out of 2 homes-- far greater than a Nielsen diary with continuous sampling.
Thanks Ginny. The experience we've had with Rentrak is that they only provide national numbers which doesn't help with accuracy for our local Alaska buys. Thanks for the input though and we'll keep them in mind. We hear rumors that they might provide local numbers soon.
Station logs could help confirm the spots actually ran as ordered. And on ratings, maybe you look at an average of the last few books to estimate ratings for the reporting period. If the ratings are just too unstable, you might consider buying Spot DR and just paying on cost per spot at rates that are likely 1/2 of traditional Spot TV.
We have Rentrak in all our Wisconsin markets, so maybe you won't be far behind! In Wausau, for example, Nielsen has a couple hundred diaries, and Rentrak is in 60,000 set-top boxes. I hear it's much more consistent. Of course both systems have their strengths (ie., Rentrak is guessing who is actually watching in the HH since it's only recording the program is being watched), but if I was being held to a high standard in posting, it would have the advantage since you have much bigger samples and get continuous data which would allow you to adjust your schedule as needed. (FYI--for now we're Nielsen).
Your other choice (if you're not penalized for over-delivery) is knocking down the ratings to the lowest you think they could do (within reason). The caveat there of course is you could get bumped.