Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Case Study Chapter 13: Media Research and the Nielsen Company

Tomorrow, January 31 I will present an example of the far-reaching effects of media research. The Nielsen Company has been the leader in research statistics on television usage nearly since its invention. I will give a brief synopsis of media statistics in general and then move on to more concrete examples of the different ways Nielsen gathers, analyzes, and distributes data and, in turn, its effects on television media. Nielsen gathers data from a random sampling of homes all across the United States. A random sample helps remove bias from the data, keeping it more representative of viewers across the nation. The raw data is processed and categorized as either overall or audiences broken down by geographic area, race, age, etc. This processed information is then sent to networks who use it to alter schedules, set ad prices, and market new programs. Advertisers also purchase this data in order to reach their target market via commercials and/or product placement. This will hopefully give insight into the importance of media research and its impact on what viewers see, hear, and expect on television.

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