People Meters: Coming soon to a market near you?

By the year 2011, Nielsen Co. plans to triple the size of its National People Meter (NPM) TV-ratings panel.  By that same year, the company says it will have Local People Meters (LPM) in 56 markets and those sample homes will be integrated into the national sample.

According to an article from Multichannel News, the company is trying to “increase the accuracy of its numbers and to provide more flexibility for measuring non-traditional television viewing.”

Why is this important?

It will help Nielsen accomplish many of the objectives of its Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative, which seeks to measure televised video as it moves beyond the television set in the home to the Internet, hand-held devices and to platforms outside the house.

Imagine, your station might one day get credit for the video it posts online, sends to cell phones and other delivery systems not yet conceived.

Right now, Nielsen’s schedule for LPM expansion is “three more markets in 2007, five in 2008, 12 in 2009, 12 in 2010 and 14 in 2011.”

Video driving clicks

A new “clickmap” tool is making some ask whether video may be a bigger driver of clicks than previously thought. According to Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, a researcher at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) has developed a new tool for tracking where Web users actually click on site pages in close to real time.

In a test of the tool, the DR found “…users click the picture 2-3 times more often than the headline. It seems presenting a video still with a YouTube-style play arrow changes viewer habits instantly.”

The post by the DR’s Ernst Poulsen goes on to offer the following:

Of course, this tool can’t indicate whether users read headlines before they decide to click, or if they decide based on the picture alone. However, it’s fairly clear that even if users are relying at least partly on text headlines to decide whether to click, the headline need not be the only entry path to the article.

It may also be that a site like YouTube has changed users habits: training people to click video stills when they want to watch video and headlines when they want to read text.