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Do You Read the eBook?

March 9, 2023

This blog post has nothing to do with Kindles, e-readers, or anything digital. We are, instead, going to explore the wonders to be found in Nielsen’s eBook. This delightful tome comes your way with every survey, is available in the easy-to-use PDF format, and contains a dizzying array of numbers … and stuff.

The eBook contains the granular details of the survey …

For example, you will see the breakdown of the sampling units in your metro, their size and population. More importantly, the report lists the in-tab for each sampling unit. This is important to note because this chart will show the weighting Nielsen is factoring in for the geographic sample. Say a certain county represents 11.4% of the metro but has only 10.0% of the in-tab. This means diaries or meters from that location will be weighted up. This is shown for both Daily and Weekly in-tab.

You will also find similar charts that break down the market by demographic groups – age, gender, ethnicity, and other household factors. Again, it is important to know what groups are over- or under-sampled as this can have a direct effect on your station’s numbers.

If there is a Hispanic breakout in your market, you’ll see what percentage of those households are Spanish versus English dominant.

There is a page that tells you how the sample was contacted, the in-tab target, and compliance rates. The big takeaway from this page is the panel turnover. We often refer to this as the panel churn. Be aware that this percentage is about installed panelists, not in-tab.

Then there are several pages that talk about Sample Performance Indicator Results, Alternate Response Rate Results, etc. These pages are necessary but will just make your brain hurt.

The last bit of data pertains to country of origin for the Hispanic sample. This could be of value for stations targeting this audience.

The report continues with a list of all the stations that are home to your metro. This is where you will see if a station is a Nielsen subscriber and if it is total line reporting. You’ll also see selected stations that made the book but are outside the metro.

Lastly, you will see how many panelists were mitigated as Outliers.

The Nielsen eBook is a quick study that will help you gain a better understanding of your market and the ratings process. Before anyone questions our accuracy, while this report has been affectionately referred to as the eBook, its official title is the Radio Market Report.

If you would like to know your numbers better, The Ratings Experts from Research Director, Inc. stand ready to serve.

-Steve Allan, Programming Consultant