The monopoly Nielsen says they are starting to phase out the paper diaries from their ratings system.
The diary-based system for measuring local TV viewership which is very inaccurate has been in place for the past 60 years.
The company says that they will use a new electronic devices it’s developed that will track viewing by “listening” to the audio portion of TV shows watched and a Nielsen “audio watermark” embedded in the signals transmitted by stations. It is starting with 14 markets.
The new system will enable the diary-based markets to obtain Nielsen viewership data 12 months a year, instead of just the current four sweeps months (February, May, July and November).
Broadcasters are already asking two key questions about the new system: How will demographic data be collected? And, will this new system result in higher prices for Nielsen data?
Nielsen would neither confirm nor deny the possibility of a price hike, so yeah they're totally going to jack up the rates.