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Nielsen Offers Its Own PPM Monitoring Solution

Ramaswamy: We don’t create artifacts

ATLANTA�Thursday afternoon at the Radio Show, attendees gathered to Nielsen�s side of the PPM story about an hour after 25/Seven systems wrapped up its presentation on the newest versions of its Voltair watermark processor.

Nielsen will deliver its own monitoring device to all of its PPM client stations next year, responding to client requests.

Nielsen Chief Engineer Arum Ramaswamy says the company is upgrading its CBET watermark encoding system to make coding more robust and more easily detectable in challenging acoustic environments, all without creating audible artifacts, which he says is fundamental to the �science of watermarking.�

Feedback from the original CBET system showed Nielsen that there was too much variability in how well watermarks could be decoded in different listening environments. Ramaswamy says the new version is much more robust, needing as little as a single �hit� in one minute for data to be decoded and a station to get its listening credited. Testing of the enhanced system was conducted in several �non-currency� PPM markets, and then in parallel with standard CBET at 19 stations in the Washington and Baltimore markets, using a second layer of encoding.

Nielsen�s Beth Webb says the enhanced CBET shows a 15 percent increase in AQH persons, giving at least a 0.1 point gain in AQH ratings in approximately 40 percent of the cases studied.

The enhanced CBET system will be launched in two markets, Washington and Baltimore, later in October following further testing and review. Enhanced CBET will then be rolled out nationally starting in November and concluding in December. An informational client webinar is scheduled for Oct. 8.