Categories: American Notables.
Arthur Nielsen was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1897, the son of Danish immigrant Rasmus Nielsen, a business executive, and his wife, Harriet Burr Gunn , a teacher.
Arthur Charles Nielsen, Sr. was an American market analyst who founded the ACNielsen company.
Nielsen worked as an electrical engineer for the Isko Company in Chicago from 1919 to 1920 and for the H. P. Gould Company in Chicago from 1920 to 1923. He founded the ACNielsen company in 1923, and in doing so advanced the new field of market research. This involved: (1.) test marketing new products to determine their viability prior to costly mass marketing and production; and (2.) measuring product sales at a random sample of stores to determine market share. Careful statistical sampling was crucial to this process. The techniques developed by Nielsen were especially important for the efficient operation of a market prior to the introduction of computerized digital networks that in the 1990s enabled continuous and comprehensive monitoring of sales by product retailers. Nielsen was also a pioneer in developing methods of measuring the audience of radio and television broadcasting programs, most notably the Nielsen ratings.
Nielsen inaugurated a National Radio Index for broadcasters and advertisers in 1942, followed by a television ratings service in 1950. By the time of his death, the company's revenue was US$ 398 million annually
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