3/13/13: Arbitron warns stations against social media ratings bias

Paul Maloney
March 13, 2013 - 1:35pm

In the interest of "protecting the integrity of audience estimates," Arbitron yesterday e-mailed client radio stations a list of "Do's and Don'ts" concerning station communication via social media. And not just on Facebook and Twitter, but also texting, e-mail, and more.

As most radio professional know, Arbitron has strict guidelines regarding messaging that can lead to "ratings distortion," but before now it concerned what was said on-air and in traditional marketing. As the importance of social media has grown, with its ability for one-to-one communication between station staff and listeners, Arbitron is now emphasizing the importance of avoiding ratings bias.

Now, Arbitron reminds clients that "social media comments are subject to the same guidelines as on-air comments. The company instructs radio not to discuss ratings (even ratings success), on social networking sites, as that could prompt diary keepers to reveal themselves.

Arbitron even monitors social media sites daily, both for respondent disclosures and to look for any contact between respondents and stations.

See Arbitron's memo here.

Paul Maloney
March 13, 2013 - 1:35pm

If you subscribe to our daily RAIN e-mail reminders, we want to give you a special discount code to save 20% when you register for RAIN Summit West.

To subscribe, just click the maroon "Subscribe to the RAIN newsletter!" button you see in the right-hand margin at KurtHanson.com (or just click here). Each day, we'll drop you a short note to let you know we've published a new issue, and preview the day's coverage.

[Note: we've recently begun experimenting with MailChimp to deliver our daily e-mail, and it seems to be working well. If, in the past, you've tried to subscribe to our daily e-mails but weren't receiving them, please try to subscribe again.]

If you're already a subscriber, no worries, you can get the discount too. Either way, look for the code in the "P.S." of the RAIN daily e-mail, beginning today. And please feel free to forward the e-mail to colleagues, so they can take advantage of the discount (and we wouldn't mind if you recommended they subscribe as well!).

RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas is the original and the biggest of our annual Summit events. This year we return to the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on Sunday, April 7 for a full day of great panel discussions, research presentations, and more. We're pleased to have two keynotes this year: RAB CEO/president Erica Farber and Rhapsody president Jon Irwin. And we'll cap the day with Internet radio's top social/networking event, the RAIN Reader Cocktail Party by the pool. You can see the day's agenda of speakers and panels on the RAIN Summit West page here.

We think you'll find spending the day with us in Vegas valuable, and we'd like to make it even more valuable by knocking 20% off your registration. Just subscribe to the RAIN daily e-mail, and look for that code in the P.S. Then, head over to the RAIN Summit West 2013 Eventbrite registration page to sign up. Make sure you find the "Enter promotional code" link in the registration form to get your discount!

Paul Maloney
March 13, 2013 - 1:35pm

A new Pew Internet & American Life Project study called "Teens and Technology 2013" says one-quarter of U.S. teens access the Internet mostly via smartphone. Just 15% of of those 18+ do the same.

More than a third of Americans age 12-17 say they own a smartphone device, up from 23% in 2011. And while teen girls are just as likely as boys to have a smartphone, 34% use them on the Web (compared to 24% of boys).

Pew says the teen "cell-mostly" Internet population could mean a surge of mobile Internet use in the near future.

Read Washington Post coverage here.