The Need for Nielsen

Imagine being chosen at random to watch hours of television and get paid to rate the shows you watch.  Believe it or not, this is exactly how television shows get their ratings.  The Nielsen Company is the leading consumer research group that collects demographic as well as  media consumption data that produce television ratings- hence the name “Nielsen Ratings”.  Nielsen randomly surveys millions of households nationwide to find trends among viewers based on what they are watching.
Ratings may not seem that important to you as the viewer, but to the companies that wish to market their brand, these ratings determine when and where they invest their money.  For instance, say you work for a brand whose target market is young adults; where are you going to place your commercial? Are you going to have it air during the premiere of NBC’s provocative new drama The Playboy Club or the season premiere of FOX’s “High-School-Musical-esque” show Glee? This should be a no-brainer, but for  shows that are in the same genre and marketing the same audience, firms depend on these ratings and the demographic data from “Nielsen families” to assist in making these types of marketing decisions.
So thanks to you, Nielsen Company, for only airing what we want, when we want it.