Tag: measurement


Why Are You Trusting Your Ratings to Nielsen?

I have largely steered clear of the Voltair/Nielsen discussion (except for this piece) because it's so simple: It's a classic evolutionary dilemma, and in those evolutionary dilemmas the individuals who are most capable of adapting survive and those most finely tuned to their changing environments thrive. In other words, those who spend their hard-earned bucks on Voltair gadgets will have an advantage over those who do not. Now Nielsen announces that it's "improving" its technology so as to provide every participant a level playing field and perhaps eliminate the "need" for Voltair … [Read more...]


Radio Revenue: You Get What You Ask For

You get what you ask for. Last week Townsquare Media reported that about 30% of its revenue derived from non-spot sources in 2014 - 42% if you exclude recent acquisitions. And Townsquare isn't alone. Check out how CBS (the entire company, not just radio) is shedding its dependence on advertising: CBS, which in addition to the CBS Television Network, owns Showtime, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio, CBS Television Studios and Simon & Schuster, has the most exposure to advertising among the major media companies. But the media giant has reduced that exposure in recent years to 50% … [Read more...]


Radio Ratings are in a Heap of Trouble

If you can't trust the Nielsen ratings in America's largest radio market, then where can you trust them? A few days ago, Nielsen delayed the release of May ratings for Los Angeles when "inconsistencies" resulted in the need for more "quality control reviews." Since then, the problem has only deepened. From the LA Times: Nielsen has been attempting to verify that individuals who participated in its sample audience panel were truly independent and did not have ties to any radio stations or radio personalities that were being measured. The ratings agency said Wednesday that it needed to … [Read more...]


What is Sean Hannity Smoking?

“It’s the single biggest threat to the radio business today, the measurement system is flawed in a dramatic way.” So says Sean Hannity in Radio Ink: For example, in New York, if you’re listening to The Sean Hannity Radio Show on the WOR website, even if you have a Portable People Meter, I can’t get credit for that. We know that WABC, at times, had well over 1.4 million people listening online. If we can’t get credit for that, then all the data that’s being put out there is just inaccurate. Then you add to that those people who listen to me on satellite. That’s unmeasured. If people listen … [Read more...]


Dear Arbitron, What about Asian Americans?

Arbitron makes no distinction between Asian Americans and any other group of non-Hispanic, non-African Americans in their sample. That means Asian Americans fall into the vast category called "other," a category without sub-categories and the sample goals those sub-categories might deserve. In any given market there is no way to know whether Arbitron is properly representing the Asian American population or not. That means odds are overwhelming that they are not. In many markets this may not make a significant difference to the consumers, the broadcasters, or the advertisers who … [Read more...]


Shocker: PPM is Not 100% Accurate!

Ben Fong-Torres is one of my heroes, so it's always a pleasure to read his stuff, even when he's writing about something as workaday (to you and me) as Arbitron's PPM. A couple weeks ago he profiled a real, live, in-the-flesh PPM panelist.  And he discovered pretty much what any sentient being in radio (no jokes, please) already knew: PPM does not perfectly collect all listening in all situations. To quote the wry, late, and great John Gielgud, "alert the media." While this story is interesting to the lay reader who knows nothing of the measurement side of the radio business, no … [Read more...]

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