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  1. admin
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    Posted by Bob Schembri on LinkedIn

    As a former Arbitron and VNU (Nielsen’s parent company) employee, I have a few thoughts on this issue.

    First, I’m not at all surprised that Nielsen is jumping into radio, however, I am surprised at the methodology going forward. The fact that Cumulus and Clear Channel are endorsing a diary/internet gathering mix tells me they are not at all worried about improving the radio industry and its overall health. Those two group owners are looking at saving money now with a huge non renew Arbitron contract saving them millions. The radio broadcasters and the industry as a whole had better be careful what they ask for because they keep fighting with themselves and the research companies instead of endorsing new technology and creating new ways to sell inventory and increase revenue. To use a sports analogy, they are “bitching” about the referees and not worrying about their own team and their own league’s health.

    Secondly, with regard to PPM, I could not agree with Brad more about PPM. There are a multitude of countries outside of the U.S. implementing PPM and had it implemented long before Houston started out the U.S. Going backwards in technology isn’t going to improve small market or ethnic station numbers. I have sat in PPM meetings and I can tell you that the statistical reliability of a much smaller sample in the PPM Panel world versus paper diary weekly survey is unreal.

    Finally, Arbitron is not blameless by any means. Arbitron has spent so much time and money ramping up the larger markets they would have been much better served rolling out PPM to all market segments – top 10, a few top 50, a few 100-250 market size. They preached so hard and so long about how much “better PPM” is than diary that they shot themselves in the foot and alienated smaller markets with a ton of self doubt about their aging currency. They have also spent about 15 years trying to be a software provider for which they are not and that move has cost them as well.

  2. admin
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    Posted by Michelle Kosmicki in the TV Researchers Group at LinkedIn

    I think the PPMs have helped improve measurement. It will be interesting to see the two sampling methods “side by side” so to speak (RDD vs address based).

    In our local radio and TV market, the sample sizes are fairly close in size. Not only are there differences in sampling, but I would guess that the imputation methods may also vary somewhat, creating some interesting variances in reporting.

    Being a bit of a data hound, I’m rather excited to watch this develop. Yes, that is me in the corner with the methodology books. 😀

    Michelle K

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