As a subscriber to Nielsen and/or Scarborough audience estimates, there are guidelines that you are required to follow when working with the copyrighted estimates.

When quoting Nielsen and/or Scarborough data make sure to properly source the estimates and to include the copyright notice on any piece you produce. You should always include:

  1. The geography (e.g., Metro or TSA).
  2. The estimate type (e.g., AQH, Cume or AQH Composition Index).
  3. The demographic (e.g., Persons 6+, Persons 12+ or Persons 18+).
  4. The daypart (e.g., Mon-Sun, 6AM-Midnight).
  5. The survey period (e.g., Nielsen Radio Spring 2021 or Nielsen Radio June 2021 (April – June)).
  6. The copyright (e.g., Produced by RRC from Data © 2021 Nielsen, Inc. or Prepared with Tapscan Web © 2021 Nielsen, Inc. from Data © Release 1 2021 12 Month Scarborough).

You must be licensed to the most recently published data in your market to use the estimates outside of your station. Misuse of Nielsen or Scarborough data is considered to be copyright infringement. This includes use of data by non-subscribers.

Whenever citing audience estimates, you should ask yourself two questions:

“How easily can a non-subscribing station get access to what I am publishing?”

“How clear is it to a reader that the estimates are the copyrighted property of Nielsen or Scarborough and can only be used by licensed subscribers?”

For more information about use of Nielsen and/or Scarborough data, go to:

NIELSEN RESOURCES: This site includes the following PDFs with important information:

  • Don’t Give Your Competition a Free Ride!
  • Social Media Dos and Don’ts
  • Diary Security Dos and Don’ts
  • Panel Security Dos and Don’ts
  • Publishing Guidelines for Nielsen Topline Radio Ratings (for News Stories)
  • Diary Rating Distortion and Rating Bias Handbook
  • PPM Rating Distortion and Rating Bias Handbook

Questions? Contact:

Nielsen: Nick Freeling @