They have households that they use all the time. From what I understand, these households have equipment in their homes that report every day the viewing habits of those households.
Then, they have the diaries. That's where people write down in a book what they watch. Those aren't the same families from week to week. But, in my lifetime, I've participated in three of those. Well, sort of.
The first Nielsen Diary I saw was one where my parents' house was chosen one week. I was a teen then, and I remember the diary was sort of filled out and returned late.
As an adult, I've participated in two surveys. One several years ago, and one within the last month. For participating in the survey, they enclose some cash. Not a lot, but a few dollars. Sequentially-numbered small bills, in my case.
I filled out the diary. But, I suspect they don't get a lot like me doing it. You see, we don't have cable, and we don't have satellite. And, we never watch anything live over the air. Most of our TV watching is via the Internet.
Turns out, though, that they do account for that. If you watch something from, say, Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes, they want to know that, too. But only if you watch it on your TV. They don't want you to count what you watch on your computer screen.
No problem. I don't watch anything on the computer. Everything I watch is on the TV, although it's from the Internet.
|Watching TV via Hulu Plus.|
Okay, you can tell that Wife has her shows among those that we watch. I recorded all of our watching, not just what I watched.
But, during the week we kept the Nielsen Diary, we watched nothing live. Everything was by a streaming source. Well, except for some movies I had on DVD. But, the TV watching? Every bit of it from the Internet.
I really enjoy the way we watch TV. There's always something on, and we let the TV work around our schedule.
I don't know how many diaries they get back every week where all the viewing is via Internet. But, that week, we got our say in the survey.
Oh, yeah. The money. How I spent it?
I bought some Cokes.