Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nielson Ratings on Game Usage At Home

Released on March 9th, Nielsen ratings, the guys that do the TV stuff, has stated that 56% of households in the U.S. own at least one current generation gaming system. Which is up a whopping 50% from last year. That seems like a ridiculous high increase.

But also shows how inaccurate Nielsen is. I pointed this out in the Kotaku article on the same subject. Nielson boxes make up less then 2% of the American population. Those hundred thousand people make up the tv and game decisions for the hundred million of us living here. Unfair system, right?

It works like this. A few selection of people are given a box. When they turn on their television, they have to turn on the box to record what channel and time they are watching something. When they're done, they turn off the box. Sometimes people don't turn off the box. Sometimes the box doesn't take into account when you flip channels. Sometimes the box spazzes out and thinks you're a monkey. In some cases they will give a tv watching diary for families to write in and record instead of the box. Needless to say, if someone likes Who's the Boss, they will keep their tv on that one station showing re-runs all day, every day, and write it in their viewing diaries. It's really easy to skew the numbers, and why some of our favorite shows get cancelled asap. Arrested Development anyone?

It's basically the same system with video games for Nielsen. Networks and game devs don't play up the ratings because they know that it's not accurate. However advertisers do. They want to make sure their products are being sold on those shows that are being watched. And Nielsen gives them an easy way to gauge who's watching what.

So all that mess was just to say don't really read the article posted by Nielsen. It's pretty much not correct.


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