Nielsen to Deploy New Wearable People Meters

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NEW YORK—This September, Nielsen will begin placing about 3,000 new Portable People Meter (PPM) Wearables in a subset of its nearly 60,000 active PPM panelists. The wearables will play “a foundational role” in its Nielsen One cross media audience measurement efforts, the company said. 

The announcement comes at a time when critics have questioned the accuracy of the company's TV ratings. 

The deployment of PPM wearable devices and technologies is part of Nielsen’s continued efforts to modernize its panels and improve the panelist experience. 

Nielsen said that portable people meters are currently used to underpin Audio, Local TV and National audience measurement and are used to measure both in-home and out-of-home tuning for Audio and Local TV and out-of-home tuning for Nielsen’s National TV estimates. 

The new PPM Wearables feature an updated design that is smaller and more closely aligned with current wearable technology trends. The new PPM Wearable can also be worn in a variety of ways, including wristbands, clips and pendants, which the company hopes will make them more appealing to groups that have typically been harder to measure.  

Nielsen is also launching a new companion app that will help improve the user experience and enable data transmission when the device is outside the home. 

Results from the deployment of the new PPM wearables are, however, a ways away. 

Nielsen plans to share top-line findings in Q2 2022 of this subset of panelists phase, with the full rollout of PPM Wearables in new panel households planned for the second half of 2022. 

“By modernizing our panels with the PPM Wearable, we are not only improving the overall panelist experience and increasing engagement, but also ensuring our measurement is durable and can adapt to evolving technology changes,”  said Mainak Mazumdar, Nielsen’s chief research and data officer.  “This is another example of how Nielsen is continuing to innovate in our march towards Nielsen ONE in order to create a better media future for the entire industry.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.