Nielsen and Arbitron are Duking It Out for Radio Measurement

Nielsen recently launched a radio audience measuring service, and their findings are that young people, who were thought to be a lost generation for radio, listen, on average, for  21.5 hours a week.

The bigger story is that Nielsen is claiming to be capturing a broader swath of radio listeners.  Last year, Arbitron faced complaints that it was “undercounting minority listeners”, Crain’s says. In contrast to Arbitron’s automated calculation system, Nielsen is relying on the same handwritten diary that it uses to measure television viewing. And radio operators are reposnign favorably. So far, Cumulus Radio is utilizing Nielsen’s service in all of its markets; Clear Channel and ESPN are trying it out.  Nielsen claims that its sample in the survey covered 98% of the measured population, including a more representative proportion of cell phone-only households. As a counter-punch, Arbitron announced a program to create a metric that will gauge consumer “affinity” for both the radio medium in general and for specific radio stations versus their competitors. This promises to aid radio ad sales teams trying to differentiate themselves from competitors.



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