Harker Research: Nielsen 'Wobbles' Could Mean Difference Between Ratings Success Or Failure
August 3, 2016 at 2:21 PM (PT)
In the latest blog from HARKER RESEARCH's RADIO INSIGHTS, "Why Good Looks Bad And Bad Look Good," the issue of the margin of error in NIELSEN ratings is tackled, so-called "wobbles," where the "real numbers" might be higher than reported ... or they might be lower.
RADIO INSIGHTS cites a pair of studies, one a cume ranker of seven stations in one medum size PPM market with margin of error considered, showing that "any one of the top six stations could be first ... or sixth!"
Another graph compares one station's four-month market share trend with its "lowest confidence level" and "highest confidence level," according to NIELSEN. The margin of error, according to RADIO INSIGHTS, makes it impossible to judge the station's real trend because of the shifting scenarios.
HARKER RESEARCH concludes, "This is why we always caution stations to resist the impulse to react to monthly changes in the numbers."