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Carry That Weight

Carry That Weight

It is all about the weighting. Nielsen’s goal is to get as close as possible to a 100 index for every cell. A Herculean task, for sure.

Why is weighting important? And, what is it?

When balancing different cells the goal is to have an index of 100. That means the percent of the total sample from a given age/gender/race/ethnicity/geography matches the percent of the total population of that cell. Anything that indexes over 100 will have a lower weight while those under 100 will have a higher weight. In a perfect world we prefer to see indexes between 90-110, but anything from 80-120 is acceptable.

What does this mean in reality?

If your target demo is underrepresented, for example, it will be less likely that your listeners will be included in the sample, especially your heavier listeners. The bonus is that when you do get a heavy listener in an underrepresented cell they carry more weight.

It is important to keep track of these indexes – especially in the broader ranges like demo cells (think W25-34). You may be targeting a demographic cell that is in short supply and that can affect your ability to garner ratings share.

While this is only a portion of what drives your station’s ratings we believe it is important to track this data so you can make informed strategic decisions. If you’re not already doing this, contact us to see how we can help you get a better understanding of your market’s sample and weighting.

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