GameDaily reports on a couple of new ways that Neilsen is trying to stay with the times. Game usage and tracking have always been hard for them, and they're rolling out two new strategies to consumers
. The first requires participation on the part of developers: a 'tag' that can be built into software to register usage with the Neilsen folks. An initial attempt at this was tried in 2005, and never got off the ground. They're now trying again. The other is a bit more clever, and is usable on multiple forms of entertainment. The blog 'We Can Fix That with Data' did some research into the organization's 'Portable People Meters'
: "The Portable People Meter, developed by Arbitron Inc., is a pager-sized device that is carried by a representative panel of television viewers. It automatically detects inaudible codes that broadcasters embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by BBM and Arbitron. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into base stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes to BBM for tabulation. The Portable People Meter can measure exposure to any electronic media, which has audio that can be encoded - television, cable, and radio, even cinema advertising and in-store media."