Have you always been curious about how audiences are measured? We explain how audiometers work
Have you ever wondered How are audiences measured of television? In principle, no one is going to investigate what you are watching at all times, nor do you have to do anything when tuning in to DTT on your television. The measurement is carried out by means of devices called audiometerswith which the Kantar Media company obtains statistical data about who is watching what at any given time.
But although these devices have been used to know the audiences of different television programs for decades, Its operation is still a mystery for many. Today we are going to explain everything you need to know about them.
What is an audiometer?
An audiometer is a device like the one we can see in the image, which placed next to the television and connects. In this way, you can collect and send information about what is being viewed at that moment, and with that data perform audience measurements.
When they place an audiometer in our house, we are also given a remote control which we will use to tell the device how many people and which people are watching TV. In this way, it will be possible to discern if there is only one person or more watching television at any given time.
The data obtained by this device will be sent to Kantar Media, the company that is in charge of carrying out audience studies in our country. And with the information collected by them, audience data is generated that is published every morning.
How many audiometers are there in Spain?
In total in our country there are 5,700 audiometers distributed among different homes. Taking into account that more than one person lives in most houses, we can say that they collect the television tastes of approximately 14,000 people. These 14,000 people serve as a statistical sample, and then these data are extrapolated to the rest of the Spanish population. Therefore, the audience data we see is not real, but part of a statistical sample.
Thus, if we see in the news that 1,000,000 people have been watching TVE in 4K from DTT, the reality is that there are no data on those million people, but that data has been obtained from extrapolate the result of the 5,700 audiometers to the total Spanish population. The small of the sample taken has caused the audience measurement system to be highly criticized.
Can I ask to have an audiometer fitted?
The choice of homes in which an audiometer is placed is made by the company Kantar Media itself. Therefore, although we want to help establish audience studies, the reality is that We cannot ask for an audiometer to be placed at home.. The main reason is that the selection of families is carried out in such a way that represent the entire Spanish society. For example, the percentage of young people out of the total number of people who have an audiometer must be the same as that of young people in Spanish society. Thus, An audiometer cannot be installed in every house that requests it.
The audiometers are distributed by the different age sectors, the number of men and women, the different Autonomous Communities and the types of family and social classes, so that they are a significant representation of the entire society.
How much do they pay to have an audiometer?
Having an audiometer at home and having to indicate who is in front of the TV at all times has to have some gratification. But, contrary to what many people think, the reality is that They don’t pay you directly for having an audiometer. What there is is a system of points which you can later exchange for different gifts.
Thus, for every time you watch TV with the audiometer in operation, you will accumulate points. And later you can exchange those points for gifts such as small appliances such as a microwave or juicer or even slightly more expensive gifts such as consoles or headphones. Approximately, in one year you can accumulate 30,000 points.
Depending on our preferences, we can accumulate those points until you get a big gift or spend them on small gifts.
If I have an audiometer, what do I have to do?
Once an audiometer has been placed in your home, you will need to create a profile for each family member. Each profile will be assigned a button on the controller. When someone in the home turns on the television, the audiometer will ask who is there. At that time you will have to press the buttons that represent each of the people in front of the TV at that moment. In this way, data will be collected about all the people who are watching TV.
The controller also has additional buttons to indicate if we have any guest. In the event that there is someone watching TV with us who does not have a created profile, we will have to indicate their age and gender so that the audience results take this into account.
Do audiometers measure streaming audiences?
One of the great limitations of the measurement system using audiometers is that The content seen on streaming platforms is not taken into account.. This means that if you watch TV and DTT channels online Your consumption will not count towards audience data. You will also not count as a person who has been watching a television program if you have watched it delayed through an on-demand television application. Therefore, the audience data that we see every morning in the media only represents those who have seen traditional television.
Taking into account that more and more people are turning to online services to watch television, the audiometer measurement system is increasingly less reliable. But for now it is still the only one in force to measure the audience that a program has.
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