Harker Research Says Nielsen’s PPM Needs Re-Evaluation


Tomorrow Media

tim_biopicBy Tim Moore

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ADG’s Tim Moore: The PPM “injector” from Frank Foty’s designers appears to significantly enhance weak PPM encoding. Richard Harker tackles this head-on and it’s overdue.”

According to a report from HARKER RESEARCH, NIELSEN is shielding its PPM audience  measurement method from scrutiny while delaying judgment on VOLTAIR, a processor that compensates for weak PPM encoding by enhancing the ability of meters to correctly identify stations being listened to.

In a confidential letter to its clients, NIELSEN insists it is “in the process of evaluating and testing the VOLTAIR product … and will provide additional updates,” while recommending clients not use it “until the testing and validation is complete.”

HARKER RESEARCH insists it has made repeated requests for NIELSEN to reveal test data on issues like reliability of decoding, only to get “stonewalled.”

NIELSEN “continues to mischaracterize the purpose and findings of the single independent study that clearly showed that PPM meters could not always reliably identify stations played at reasonable levels in realistic listening settings.”

HARKER RESEARCH concludes that VOLTAIRE “can boost ratings of some stations by 20% and more,” meaning “PPM will have potentially cost radio billions of dollars in lost revenue.”

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