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Frequently Asked Questions about Nielsen
Why was my household selected for the Nielsen Ratings research study?
Your home was selected by Nielsen's sampling process that statistically represents the total population of your community.
Nielsen selects only a few people because it's just not possible to ask everyone. Although your neighbors may live in the same block or area, they differ from you in many ways. Your household's participation ensures that the ratings represent all of the people in your community. That's why you are so important to Nielsen.
How did you get my phone number or address?
Nielsen's computer selects households for our research studies by picking phone numbers or addresses at random.
All possible phone numbers and addresses are considered, much as the winning lottery numbers are selected. Because all possible number combinations are eligible for selection, homes with listed and unlisted telephone numbers are represented.
What's in it for me?
- You make your voice heard.
- You let your radio and TV stations and networks know about your media choices.
- Your participation helps determine what stations put on the air.
By taking part in the Nielsen Ratings survey, you help the broadcasters determine what programs go on the air. You make your choices known to the people who have the power to make changes. You are the most important part of this process, and you are the one who benefits most. You may never get a chance like this again—to let your stations and networks know what you listen to and watch and to tell them what you think about radio and TV in your area.
What are the radio and TV ratings?
Radio and TV ratings estimate how many people listen and watch in a given community.
The ratings are a summary of people's listening and viewing choices—the stations and programs that people tune in to. Stations and networks in your area use the ratings as their report card to learn how many people listen to and watch their programs, and how many don't. The stations rely on the ratings to make programming decisions based on the media choices of people like you.
How does Nielsen Ratings research work?
Using a select group as a sample, we estimate the radio listening and TV viewership for an entire town or city.
Currently Nielsen conducts two main types of ratings research studies (the type of study your household has been selected to take part in depends on the city or town in which you live):
In some cities and towns, Nielsen conducts a brief survey where you are asked to record all of your radio listening for one week in a paper booklet and then mail it back to us.
In other cities, we ask you to become part of Nielsen's Radio and TV Ratings Panel. Your radio listening and TV viewing is captured electronically through special equipment we provide to you for as long as you remain part of the study.
For more information on the type of research study your household has been chosen for, please refer to the materials you have or will receive in the mail from Nielsen.
Will you ever put me on a mailing list or sell my name, address or phone number to anyone else?
No! We use the information collected for research purposes only. Occasionally, we may offer a gift where you will need to provide your name, address or phone number, but accepting the gift is up to you.
We are committed to protecting the personal identifying information you provide us. We will NOT use such information to advertise, promote or sell goods or services directly to you and we do not allow our clients to sell directly to you. We will use the information about you and your household for research purposes, such as creating reports or contacting you to determine whether you are interested in participating in future research studies for which you are eligible.