Thanks for sharing your experiences, Evan. Great to hear from one of the chosen people. Such stories are rare but every one I hear confirms just how flawed the whole business is.
intractable problem -- the whole idea of lumbering, carnivorous plants is a deeply silly one.
I used to have the same problem with Daleks (how did they get up stairs?) before they learnt to fly.
because they work in advertising, which is cool.
It ain't cool; it is clammy!
Interesting stuff, Damion. The fundamental problem with PMs and rating is, as AGB Nielsen explain, is that they only report on 'presence in a room where a TV set is on". That is not the same as 'watching television'. Indeed, if the mute button is on, half the family is asleep or gone out to the kitchen for toast and tea, it is about as meaningful as recording "presence in a room where there is a potted geranium"
I have worked in audience research in both the UK and NZ and became an early dis-believer, largely because of the inherent flaws in the processes, and in the mis-uses ratings figures were put to (making qualitative judgements based on dubious qualitative data). There are other problems: inadequate representation of all groups in the NZ population; drawing conclusions from statistically insignificant raw data; the lumping together of disparate interests in undifferentiated age groupings--but I won't go on. I am just grateful for TVNZ 6 and 7..
I'm pretty sure this already is the case actually - restricting it to people who own their own homes meant for a pretty big skew so now it does include those renting.
I had heard talk of this but as the panel size has not been increased for some years, it would mean some redistribution. Overall, though, the demographics are heavily skewed towards the mum/dad/two kids family--which is one reason the weekly ratings follow of very predictable pattern of News/Fair Go/Close Up blah blah. You can see how vulnerable the system is , when some technical glitch occurs and they have to reissue a whole week's ratings.
The bigger problem, I feel, is that too many in the business take ratings at face value, without really knowing how they work (or don't work). I am all for other measurements of audience response eg children's progs such as What Now? regularly get fairly insignificant ratings for their target audience (used to be around 6-8). Better measures are their daily mailbag (letters and drawings), emails, 'tele-ops', responses to competitions etc.
Driving down I95 from Connecticut to New Jersey in 2007. Hearing a 1990s NZ hit song on the radio - How Bizarre.
Such moments are memorable moments. Gazing upon a small bin of NZ-imported, very wrinkled tamarillos in a supermarket in Toledo, Ohio in July 2007, whilst Bic Runga's Sway was playing over the PA!
Thank you, Grahame. A lovely dedication. One great song is far, far better than no great songs.
A quick response, before I tuck into two globe artichokes straight from the garden, and then hasten out the door.
The current system of Peoplemeters could be improved (but not not made perfect) by increasing the size and diversity of the panel (eg to include folk in rental accommodation) , as well as abandoning the current practice of sorting the audience by rather meaningless age categories (eg the undifferentiated 55+ category--which assumes a 56 year old has the same interests as a 76 year old!).
When I worked in audience rsearch in the UK, they had a measure called Appreciation Indices (AI's), whereby viewers could vote on a scale of 0-100 on how positively or negatively they felt about a programme (and episodes of a series). Still rather a crude measure but more useful and insightful for programme makers (and TVC placement with a programme) than mere exposure (or more specifically. "Presence in a room where a TV set is on").
It all costs money, I guess but even the current NZ system of PM costs an estimated $5m annually to run.
One of these days I should launch another, longer attack on the conceits of ratings (but, of course, my livelihood doesn't depend on them!)
Ratings are a myth we all believe in: The only really useful thing that has ever been said about them, by Bettina Hollings (former TV3 scheduler, now programme maker).
Of course, you also have to interrogate whom the "we' might be. In the main, it is media buyers, TV sales & marketing, schedulers and programme makers too lazy to conceive of any other version of the television audience.
@ Kyle. Apologies. I didn''t read your message in time, and didn't stay for the the entire concert. Next time, maybe.