Press Room

The Nielsen Company Invests an Additional $2.5 million to the Council for Research Excellence

Brings Nielsen’s Total Four-Year Investment to $10 Million

New York, October 23, 2009 –The Nielsen Company today announced it is providing an additional $2.5 million to the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), an independent forum of Nielsen clients that was formed to conduct its own methodological research. The CRE was established in 2005 by Nielsen as an industry “think tank” with an initial $2.5 million grant. This new grant brings the total amount invested in the CRE by Nielsen to $10 million dollars.

The CRE is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of 40 senior research professionals, mostly clients of Nielsen representing various industry interests, including advertisers, broadcast networks, cable networks and operators, broadcast stations, syndicators, and mainstream and ethnic agencies. A smaller working Steering Committee oversees operations, regularly caucuses with industry segments, and makes recommendations to the Board. The CRE also maintains several smaller working committees addressing particular research issues, including: Media Consumption and Engagement; Non-Response, Set Top Box and Universe Estimates.

“Nielsen funded the Council for Research Excellence four years ago to provide our clients with a more active opportunity to advance audience measurement. We continue to see the CRE as one of the best investments we can make towards bringing together people who often have competing agendas and different points of view,” said Susan Whiting, Vice Chair of The Nielsen Company. “We look forward to the new ideas and insights our continued investment help generate.”

Since its creation the Council for Research Excellence has unveiled research in the following areas:

  • The groundbreaking Video Mapping Study, introduced to the industry in March 2009, dispelled several popular notions about Americans multi-media use. One important finding was that Baby Boomers age 45-54 consume the most video media, while the study also confirmed that traditional “live” television remains the dominant choice among consumers. Discussions are currently underway regarding a potential follow-up to this study.
  • Another major study on Non-Response Bias to understand the characteristics and habits of people who decline to participate in Nielsen’s People Meter and Diary measurements. Consequently, smarter decisions can now be made about allocating future resources to impact the accuracy of Nielsen ratings data.

Looking ahead, the CRE is actively working on two other major studies:

  • The Set Top Box subcommittee is funding a Set Top Box Study to learn more about the strengths, limits and potential applications of these data.
  • The Media Universe Estimates subcommittee is funding a study to prepare a comprehensive methodology for developing population standards for ownership of various types of media equipment such as televisions, computers, and Digital Video Recorders, etc).

For more information on the Council for Research Excellence, please visit