Nielsen Media Research

Nielson has been the major organization that tracks and rates prime-time viewing audiences since 1950. They estimate what viewers are watching in the nation’s major markets. Nielsen main goal is to “provide advertisers, broadcast networks, local stations, and cable channels with considerable details about viewers-from race and gender to age, occupation, and educational background (Campbell 2017).”

The article Optimizing the Automotive Path to Purchase demonstrates what the Nielson Media Research company can offer to consumers and companies. It is a “perspective” article backed by research from Nielson that explains new trends in automotive purchase decisions. It also mentions another Auto Marketing Report that offers “a full understanding of how consumers shop for cars and how they react to automotive advertising (House 2018).” The article first explains some common misconceptions about the car market. The author explains how consumers do in fact have a bias toward certain car companies and that the car buying process is not simply a process of elimination. Companies really need to build deeper connections with consumers at multiple channels to promote purchases. The author also explains how awareness is crucial in reaching consumers and it is important to build deep connection with consumers. The information presented in this article is very useful for car companies in the industry (House 2018).

Connected Commerce: Connectivity is Enabling Lifestyle Evolution is a report made by the Nielson Media Research group that explains the effect of mobile devices on consumers and making purchases in the 21st century. There is no denying that “internet accessibility, mobile technology, and digital innovations are redefining consumers every interaction and will continue to enable and disrupt many aspects of consumers’ lifestyle well into the future (2018).” The report also talks about how the internet simplifies consumers’ lives and how being so connected effects communication platforms. Finally, the report by Nielson Media Research suggests some strategies for manufacturers and retailers to succeed using technology. Reports like this made by Nielsen keep readers up to date with current trends. For companies who read this material, they will find that “success and sustained growth for manufacturers and retailers will be about creating strategic advantages across converged channels, touchpoints and experiences along the path to purchase, in both developed and developing markets, and evolved and emerging categories (2018).

VIDEO: Nielsen Media Research

The video above explains furthermore of how the Nielsen Media Research group operates. They have divided the United States into 210 sections called Designated Market Areas. Counties in those market areas are where Nielsen study consumers and their viewing habits. They monitor what channels are being watched, how long they are being watched, and whether viewers are switching between channels. Network companies use this information to determine what shows are succeeding or failing in certain demographics. Advertisers use this information to demonstrate what demographic they should promote their product to. Ad agencies use Nielsen’s demographic information as well for commercial use. Companies use the Nielsen ratings to also determine the cost they need to charge for commercial air time. Nielsen uses a random sample of viewers to establish their ratings system. They select homes based on address, not who lives in the home, using census data. Individual recruiting then begins with the people that live at that certain address. They also ensure that their random samples are reflective of the market itself to ensure more accurate results. If you are chosen to be a “Nielsen Household,” the company will send you a questionnaire that asks to describe the demographics of the individuals that live in that residence. Once filled out, a Nielsen representative will come to your home and establish a relationship with you to make sure that the individuals within the household are comfortable with being studied. The next step is the “Nielsen diary” which is sent out 4-7 times a year to households to determine viewing habits for one week, filled out by every member of the household. Local markets collect demographic information from these diaries and store their data for future use. As technology is changing, the Nielsen Media Research group is also constantly changing to keep up with the norms of television viewing.


Nielsen Insights Report

Data gathered from Nielsen’s Media Research is displayed in the above picture. This shows an example of some of the data they collect and how it has increased from the previous year.




Campbell, R., Martin, C. R., & Fabos, B. (2017). Media & Culture: Mass Communication in a Digital Age. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, Macmillan Learning.


Connected Commerce: Connectivity is Enabling Lifestyle Evolution. (2018, November 19). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from


House, B. (2018, November 29). Optimizing the Automotive Path to Purchase. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Image and Video Attribution:

The image and video used in this post is in Fair Use and for educational purposes only.



Written by Mark Diese, 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s