Nielsen Ratings

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Nielsen Ratiungs - People Meter. An electronic television metering system placed in randomly selected households. A fixed box is placed on or near the television, and each member of the household is assigned a personal viewing button. These personal buttons allow Nielsen to determine who is watching the program.Definition Nielsen Ratings. Description.


Nielsen Ratings is a quantitative audience measurement system of media programs, especially TV programs.


The Nielsen Ratings was created around the 1930s by Arthur Nielsen, founder of the American Company AC Nielsen. He was a marketing analyst and researcher of radio markets. With the advent of television in the 1950s, the company AC Nielsen moved into TV analysis and developed a rating system that is nowadays know as Nielsen Ratings,

the most authoritative and influential television audience rating system in the world.


Nielsen Media Research, the division of AC Nielsen that deals with media analysis and research, defines ratings as follows: “The estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in an average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percentage”.


Nielsen Ratings are not qualitative measurements on how much a TV program is liked, but instead focuses on quantitative data on how many people watch it. Nielsen actually collects two types of data on TV viewers:

  1. Tuned data, those regarding what the audience is watching.
  2. Demographic data, such as gender, age, location, etc…The latter are fundamental for media companies to perform a demographic analysis or an audience segmentation.

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