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

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Issue Date: 
Dec 19 2011 - 11:00am

From Issue:

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.

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That is something they should

That is something they should anticipate. The comparison will always be there. It is just how you cope up with this challenge that counts. - Scott Safadi

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