Total Audience Measurement

Arbitron: Streaming measurement service still in the works, no word on timing

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:10pm

ArbitronIn Arbitron's quarterly call, CFO Sean Creamer said the company's streaming measurement service is still under development, but "the timing is not within our control."

Creamer said the service would combine PPMs, diaries and server-side log data. The service could potentially measure any service, said Creamer, including Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio. But Radio Ink reports the company was not specific about which exact services would be measured.

However, Tom Taylor reports Creamer said, "We do believe there is a difference between one-to-many and one-to-one." He apprently suggested there could be "separate reports to differentiate the one-to-many and one-to-one models."

You can find more on the story from today's Taylor on Radio-Info newsletter here or from Radio Ink here. You can find out more about Arbitron's planned streaming measurement service in previous RAIN articles here and here.

Radio's denial of Pandora might end up costing them both when ad dollars "move on"

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 1:25pm

Broadcast radio's squabbling over Pandora's attempts to assert itself as a major player for radio ad dollars has made it on to the pages of The Wall Street Journal. And one expert told the paper this split may end up costing both Pandora and traditional radio in the long run.

You'll recall (here) Arbitron this week issued a statement -- apparently at the behest of its broadcast radio customers -- critical of listening estimates for Internet radio services based on server log data, self-reported listener demographic info, and without a "detailed description of methodology" (like Arbitron's). Market research firm Edison Research has recently been issuing estimates of Pandora's listening with metrics identical to traditional broadcast radio studies (more here). Pandora founder Tim Westergren called Arbitron's statement part of a "concerted effort" to keep Pandora out of the radio ad market as the online radio medium grows into real competition for radio.

"The broadcast industry does not want the world to know about us, basically."

This week's Arbitron statement came as the company is trying to convince its broadcaster clients to support its upcoming Total Audience Measurement product (more here), designed to measure and consolidate on-air, online, and satellite listening.

Late yesterday came news that Clear Channel-owned online ad-sales firm Katz360 -- like Arbitron, a company the counts broadcast radio groups as its main clients -- dropped Pandora from their sales network (see today's top story). (Pandora is far-and-away the most-listened-to webcaster online, dwarfing the online audiences of broadcasters like Clear Channel, CBS Radio, and Cumulus.)

Marketers are making it clear, however, they want a more "all-in-one," cross-platform ratings system to better target their ad messages (see the second-half of this recent RAIN story). Matt Feinberg, a former radio ad-buyer, told the Journal, "There are so many media vehicles out there for consideration the harder you make it for an advertiser or agency to make a decision, the quicker they will move on."

Wall Street Journal subscribers can read their coverage here.

Broadcast execs fear direct comparison with pureplays, but agencies clamoring for such a service

Monday, December 19, 2011 - 11:00am

ArbitronInside Radio reported earlier in December that some broadcasters feared Arbitron's coming all-in-one measurement service would "siphon off radio ad dollars" to pureplay online radio sites like Pandora (RAIN coverage here).

Now more broadcast radio executives are speaking out against an "apples-to-apples comparison" between pureplay webcasters and AM/FM radio, but agencies are reportedly clamoring for such a service.

Cumlus Media COO John Dickey worries Arbitron’s coming service will give Pandora Arbitron's "good housekeeping stamp of approval." Hubbard Radio EVP/COO Drew Horowitz reportedly said: "Taking a totally different business model and saying it’s the same as our model would be a very frightening approach." 

Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer acknowledged broadcasters' fears, stating that “there is a level of concern on the part of over-the-air broadcasters about this increasing the threat to their pot of money from the pureplays and how they will fit into the service offerings.”

Meanwhile, "both buyers and sellers say universal audio measurement is needed to drive more dollars into the streaming audio marketplace," reports Inside Radio.

Inside Radio

Fraser's Vivian Silverman says an all-in-one ratings platform would help "explain to a client in simple terms how they work together or how one might be more efficient for them in one of their buys." Former TargetSpot chief revenue officer Andy Lipset argued "It would be a game-changer in how media buyers and planners look at streaming."

“Not having [a cross-platform measurement] will hold us back from embracing some of the steaming elements on any large scale," said Maribeth Papuga, Mediavest EVP and director of local investment and activation.

But Inside Radio reports that broadcasters' fears may delay Arbitron's Total Audience Measurement service from launching, as it relies on server-side log files from broadcasters.

"We’d be hard pressed to provide" Arbitron with the necessary data for Total Audience Measurement, Dickey reportedly said. "We’re very skeptical."

Arbitron's Total Audience Measurement service would combine radio's over-the-air, web and mobile listening, with the addition of listening from pureplay webcasters (RAIN coverage here and here). It is unclear when the service will launch; Arbitron has previously stated the service will launch in 2012, but now reportedly says it "isn’t able to say whether its web ratings will go live in 2012."

Currently, the sole ratings service for the U.S. Internet radio industry is Triton Digital Media’s Webcast Metrics (formerly known as Ando Media).

You can subscribe to Inside Radio here.

Arbitron plans to issue regular national and large-market local reports for combined on-air, online, satellite listening

Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 11:50am

Arbitron this week revealed some of the general structure of their upcoming integrated on-air and online listening measurement service.  Inside Radio yesterday relayed some of those points, announced at the 2011 Arbitron Client Conference and Jacobs Media Summit, which began Tuesday in Baltimore. What we haven't learned yet is exactly when the service will roll out.
Arbitron / Jacobs
For at least a year, Arbitron has been gradually revealing its plans to offer radio a "Total Audience Measurement" -- a consolidated report of radio on-air and online listening, alongside that of "pureplay" Internet-only radio and satellite radio, using a common set of metrics. 

According to Inside Radio, Arbitron plans to eventually issue sets of both local and national ratings. The national service will consist of two separate reports: the first for participating terrestrial broadcast, satellite radio, and online simulcast streams; the second for ad-supported "destination audio websites" like Pandora’s free service, Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, CBS Radio’s Radio.com,  and on-demand service Spotify's free service. Participating stations and services will supply Arbitron with server log files (for online listening measurements), which Arbitron will combine with PPM and diary estimates in a bi-annual national report.

The new local reports, which will come out monthly, will cover listening to the same services as the national reports, but only in PPM markets.

Both reports will initially provide only 12+ total week ratings, with plans to introduce discrete demographics, unduplicated cume date, etc. later.

Last week Inside Radio reported (our coverage is here) that some broadcasters weren't ready to supply Arbitron with server data. Apparently, some broadcasters don't support Arbitron's Total Audience Measurement service, for fear of Internet radio pureplay services "siphon(ing) off radio ad dollars."

Subscribe to Inside Radio here.

Arbitron partners with AdsWizz to measure streaming radio

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 11:35am

ArbitronArbitron has taken another step towards its Total Audience Measurement service -- which will measure both over-the-air and Internet radio -- with a partnership with Belgium-based tech firm AdsWizz.

Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer says AdsWizz will convert server-based streaming radio data into AQH, TSL and cume. Arbitron will then combine those metrics with its over-the-air audience data to create what the company hopes will be the "standard reporting metrics for over-the-air and digital streaming audiences," said Creamer. (Read more about Arbitron's planned all-in-one measurement service in RAIN here.)

AdsWizz“We are currently working with both our radio station clients and the digital service providers to develop the first report deliverables,” Creamer told analysts yesterday. 

Currently, the major Internet radio measurement firm is Triton Digital, which owns Ando Media and releases monthly Webcast Metrics reports. Inside Radio comments that "now the stage is set for what’s likely to be a heated battle for measurement dollars in a quickly evolving space. While ad agencies have expressed a desire for single source measurement that follows a listener as they move from broadcast to web to mobile listening, it’s unclear if using conventional AQH metrics for a digital medium will fly at digital shops." 

Just last week AdsWizz announced its debut in the U.S. with 60 new clients and a partnership with Liquid Compass (RAIN coverage here).

Read more in today's issue of Inside Radio by subscribing here.

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