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Radio Streaming Measurement Madness

Here's an exercise for you broadcasters who are rated by Arbitron's PPM:

1.  Go to your streaming provider and ask them this question:  "How many different people listen to our stream in a given week and month who live in our MSA?"

2.  Go to your PPM ratings during that same period.  Assuming your stream makes the ratings cut, write down the Cume for that week and month.

3.  Compare the two numbers.

Now Arbitron is obviously in the "estimate" business so we don't expect them to match. But how close – or far apart – are these numbers?  And if they're far apart, what does that say to you, your clients, and your agencies?

Further, why is the radio industry using a methodology to measure estimates for behaviors which can be measured with 100% precision using conventional digital metrics?  When you can actually count the ears, why guess?

Finally, why are we so obsessed with streaming our over-the-air radio stations rather than providing streaming audio content which can maximize our revenues, whether or not it matches up with what's on the air?

If you have an interesting case study after comparing your numbers, please share it here.  

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