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TV Analytics: How it Changed Through The Years

Have you ever wondered how the TV stations get their ratings? The TV analytics landscape has changed over the past years. And the most affected, are the broadcast stations. With the changes that happened; cable, satellite, DVR, OTT, and digital have different levels of complexity compared to the simple TV viewership data a few decades ago.

Because of the complexity of TV data collection, stations don’t know how to cope up with what TV data analytics to use. Let us review what TV analytics is all about, as well and look at some simple tips on how to take advantage of the changes in the TV data analytics.

TV Data are not Created Equal

Before, Nielsen data is the most trusted TV data analysis provider. But since there were changes in technology a few years back, many stations would buy comScore data as well. And in some cases, stations have chosen comScore when it comes to ad selling. Stations are using Google Analytics when it comes to web-based content. And some would choose to use Spark for them to track real-time viewing patterns as well as the standing of other stations’ ratings.

  • comScore Ratings. They measure the satellite TV viewing habits as well as trends from households. What they do is they gather viewing data from the satellite companies’ set-top-boxes on each home and conclude total viewership. They are able to gather data from a large number of homes, but the process is very slow and it will take time before they are able to forward the results to the stations.
  • Nielsen Ratings. Nielsen also measures the TV habits and trends which will be summarized in the Nielsen rating points. They gather data from a limited number of homes through paper digests in a given DMA and estimate a percentage rating before it gets sold to the stations. This is one of the most trusted sources of TV data, but still, the process is slow and it will take days or weeks for a small sample size.
  • Google Analytics Ratings. The Google Analytics measure the website views, clicks and other means of interactions. The data is measured by a code which tracks the activity of website visitors. The data provided is accurate and fast. However, this is strictly limited to website activity only.
  • Spark Ratings. Spark measures “second-by-second” TV viewing trends and habits. They also include competitor data. The smart TVs will send an all viewing data from a DMA which will be forwarded to the cloud-based Spark platform. The data will be accessible real-time by the stations. However, Spark is not reliable on paid TV subscriptions and is strictly limited to smart TVs.

Modernization Results to Better Station Performance

With the changes in TV data analytics, it makes the producer’s job easy and successful compared to how it’s done before. And as the TV stations go with the changes in the TV analytics technology, the more they maintain their relevance. They would be able to experience consistent success as the TV landscape continues to improve.

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