We talked about the shift to accountability and the changes that were necessary for his stations and for the industry overall.
He agreed that these changes were coming, but he argued that they were at least a couple years away.
"Right now," he said, "you still go into that buyer and she makes her decisions based on cost-per-point."
In other words, Arbitron and old habits still rule and radio remains a peasant in the countryside, just over the moat.
What this broadcaster – and perhaps his buyer – didn't seem to understand is this critical point:
While that buyer may make decisions the same way she always has, her agency and her client are shifting dollars away from her control to other destinations, most of which are accountable and digital.
According to a new survey, 22% of the marketers indicated they would shift dollars from traditional media into the digital space.
As an industry we need to look past Arbitron and look past PPM. Serving this master will be less and less profitable over time. Our long-time agency clients may make their decisions the same way as always, but the resources at their disposal are shrinking – that slice of the pie is getting smaller.
An industry as consequential as radio deserves its fair share of the advertising pie, not just the shrinking share left over for the traditional buys guided by imprecise ratings and controlled by buyers who wield less power and influence than ever.