February 4, 2007
Project Apollo Moving Forward for Nielsen, Arbitron

News from Thursday is that Nielsen has reached its next step in working with Arbitron, forming a joint company, limited liability, called Project Apollo, with a variety of advertisers on the steering committee.

The mission? Tracking product purchase and media exposure behavior of consumers using the Arbitron Portable People Meter system and Nielsen Homescan technology. The plan is to uses these processes to create more effective means to measure not just who sees and ad but how advertising influences sales.

Development costs are shared, and the project has been in the works since 2005.

According to Katy Bachman with MediaWeek, "Apollo LLC plans to make a decision by mid-year whether or not to commercialize the service." The sample will be expanded from the current test panel of 11,000 consumers and 5,000 households to perhaps as many as 30,000 consumers, should the process be commercialized.

Project Apollo includes not only all the TV networks and many cable networks, but also radio, newspapers, magazines, and other media forms.

Nielsen has been making a lot of shifts lately in trying to improve its ratings measurements, which I wrote about a few days ago with measuring college students, including the drive for Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement, or A2/M2.