Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If You Think 2010 Is One Year Away, (When It Comes To Ratings) You're Wrong

When the latest population estimates are updated this year at Arbitron, Nielsen and Eastlan on October 1, it will have been seven years since the size of local demographic cells were based on hard, actual data from the 2000 census. Similarly, BBM employs Statistics Canada census data as well as projections and estimates from Pitney Bowes MapInfor.

From the get-go, it was immediately two years out of date.

Since that time, each fall, the official "best estimations/projections" of growth, movement or population loss from the federal Office of Management and Budget which affect your target audience and sample come into play right in the midst of the first month of the autumn ratings period, which can help or hurt stations and formats.

It's almost time for 'the big reset,' when we find out how good those projections have been. In 2011 and 2012, the population numbers get as 'real' as they can be, like they do once every decade.

How familiar are you with the population changes in your metro and total survey areas as they will impact your cume, average quarter hour audience and shares in sixty days?

If you don't know the size of the playing field, how can you possibly win the game?

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