The August 2016 Nielsen Audio radio ratings estimates for Los Angeles have received the audience measurement company’s seal of approval.
In a communique to clients across the Southland received Wednesday morning, Nielsen says it has completed its impact analysis of the removal of 35 homes from the Los Angeles survey due to their failure to follow quality protocols.
The analysis, which reviewed all months in 2016, shows there was “zero impact on total radio listening.”
Nielsen also confirmed that the problem was an internal matter, blaming the entire situation on “an isolated personnel issue.”
Upon examining the affected homes to the originally published estimates, Nielsen found that “these homes had extremely light radio exposure overall,” thus yielding the conclusion that the exposure and listening data for PPM panelists in Los Angeles is fine.
Furthermore, Nielsen says, “there was no material impact on station level ratings during the months of January through July.”
While data for L.A. will not be reissued, as Nielsen is sticking by its audience estimates, impact data is available to clients upon request.
A Nielsen spokesperson says the company is “constantly innovating new compliance checks to ensure the quality of its PPM panel. In this specific case, Nielsen moved quickly to identify the root cause and immediately took corrective action.”
Nielsen first identified the issue in early August, when a comprehensive investigation to determine what actions, if any, may be required for prior months in 2016. It also sought to answer the question of whether this issue affected other PPM markets.
“The investigation determined that an isolated personnel issue caused several households to be improperly brought online between January and July 2016,” the company spokesperson said.
The investigation confirmed that this issue was isolated to Los Angeles and that no media outlets were involved.
The affirmation of its ratings data in Los Angeles will also likely be noteworthy to C-Suite executives at the nation’s largest Hispanic-targeted television networks.
RBR + TVBR has learned that Nielsen sample reliability issues regarding Los Angeles TV ratings results were brought to the company’s attention several weeks ago by representatives from such operators as Univision, Liberman Broadcasting and Azteca América. Hispanic weighting tied to the cycling out and replacing of one household was the issue, with the broadcast companies claiming that cultural nuances and acculturation levels were not considered when the household was replaced.
Asked for comment by RBR + TVBR, a Nielsen spokesperson said, “As consumers shift their viewing habits, there has been less traditional TV viewership – for both the general U.S. population as well as Hispanic consumers. In a recent update to our methodology, Nielsen doubled the size of its National TV ratings panel in order to more precisely capture viewership trends. Today, the larger panel is more representative of Hispanics, not less. We have conducted extensive side-by-side comparisons that show that the expanded National panel produces higher viewing levels for Hispanics and Spanish-dominant Hispanics compared to the prior panel if it were still in place.
“As viewing options expand and new platforms emerge, we will continue to work closely with the industry to make sure that Hispanics are properly measured across all media,” the Nielsen spokesperson added. “We will continue to invest in our TV and digital measurement to ensure that it is representative of the Hispanic viewing audience. We will also continue to work closely with our clients and industry groups to share our analysis and insights on the growing influence of this population. We appreciate client involvement in ensuring that we are constantly focused on accuracy in measurement of Hispanic audiences.”
RBR + TVBR RELATED READ: Nielsen Mum As L.A. Radio Ratings Arrive