Under new Arbitron policy, station TLR streams need only be 100% simulcasts in home Metro/DMA

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Issue Date: 
Jun 19 2013 - 12:50pm

From Issue:

Arbitron alerted its clients today that, at the request of the radio advisory council, it is eliminating the "simulcast" requirement for streaming outside a station's home Metro and DMA for those stations that include streaming audience in "total line reporting" (TLR).

The new rule says a station need only stream a 100% simulcast (all content, including commercials) in its home Metro and DMA. The new policy allows the station to stream any content it likes outside its home Metro/DMA.

Previously, Arbitron required stations that wanted to include streaming listeners in TLR audience to stream exactly what went out over the air, including local advertising. This meant a potential waste of ad inventory that could have been used more effectively. A listener three states away would hear the same ad for Pete's Pizza on 10th and Main a local listener heard.

Beginning last month Arbitron began allowing stations to substitute ads to streaming listeners outside a station's metro, but only with ads from the same advertiser, and still be eligible for TLR (see RAIN here). While this may have worked for national advertisers, it usually didn't help stations still airing ads that only made sense for local listeners.

This news will likely change the dynamic of the debate amongst broadcasters whether to simulcast streams, or take advantage of ad-insertion technology to increase ad inventory (or, for that matter, whether to stream at all).

Arbitron's new rule goes into effect with the July PPM period and Summer diary survey.

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