Beyond Nielsen TV Ratings

Nielsen, TiVo and Snapstream Media. One of those three is well known for tracking television viewership, but the other two: TiVo and Snapstream Media (makers of the Beyond TV PC DVR software) are not as well known in this realm, but offer a more transparent and relatively useful snapshot of what Television Viewers like you and I are watching. Would you agree that Heroes and The Office are hit shows – at least better than Dancing with the Stars or 60 Minutes? Well you’d likely agree more with TiVo and Beyond TV users.

Since the early 1940’s the television and advertising industries have relied on Nielsen Media Research to measure the popularity and success of television programming. Nielsen continues to be the leading provider of this information and their list of the top TV shows by demographic are consistently highlighted in the media and watched closely by Advertisers and the Television Networks. While I’m still interested in what Nielsen is reporting as the top shows, I’m left wanting more.

TiVo collects data from all TiVo users and provides a listing of the Most-Recorded Shows as well as the top TV shows of various famous people including actors and directors. Snapstream, collects statistics of Beyond TV PC DVR users on a voluntary basis and then provides the top recorded shows each week as well as the top five upcoming recordings by day.

What value is there in these alternative top TV show ratings? Well for me, the TiVo Top Recorded Episodes tend to be more representative of what I watch. This reflects the fact that Beyond TV and TiVo users tend to be a more tech-savvy. Some of the shows that rate high in Nielsen such as Grey’s Anatomy also rate high in the other two, but there are many cases where the opposite is true…

For the detailed analysis, continue reading at Brent Evans Geek Tonic.

2 thoughts on “Beyond Nielsen TV Ratings”

  1. Neilson is supposed to be experimenting with devices capable of recognizing embedded audio signals, so it can recognize all of the content it’s sample group goes through, not just what they report or what what they watch on broadcast.

    But otherwise, there are just too many ways to consume content now for Neilson to get it right.

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