This was a tough 2-page read: No one watches TV, Nielsen, and you know it • The Register. The main argument is that nobody watches television programming anymore in a “linear” fashion; this is to say nobody watches like they did pre-VCR technology, with fixed schedules that include timed bathroom breaks.
The challenge continues to be in reliably measuring what people are watching and the ads to which they actually pay attention. Why is this so hard? They already have the technology built into the set-top boxes to record precisely what, how and when you watch a program. The trouble is not in measuring consumption but in reporting on it; the truth sucks. People aren’t really watching the ads. Who wants to report that?
The article, however, makes the problem out to be some complex methodological issue. They should have just stuck with the headline and not tried to think too hard. People do not watch advertisements in the same numbers they once did because they can. Move along now, nothing to see here.