What Digital Ratings Will Mean for Radio Revenue


Mobile AppsAd agencies, stations and others have been waiting for years for one measurement solution across stations, their streams and mobile devices.

Now, Nielsen has a strategy and a roll-out plan so that stations can understand the dynamics of both audiences.

Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly says it’s important to capture all of a station’s listening whether on a radio, computer, smartphone or other device.

Marc Greenspan of Research Director Inc. agrees, telling RBR+TVBR in an interview that digital listening becomes more critical as the money derived from that advertising increases over time and, in the future “everybody can consume more media the way they want.”

Kelly told us in an interview that digital audio “is the first stage in total audience measurement for radio. Once Nielsen acquired Arbitron, we took advantage of all the work they had done on the TV side and applied it to radio with very similar technology.”

The product combines digital audio measurement with industry-standard methodology, allowing clients to measure the total reach of radio listening.

Nielsen says will give stations the insight buyers and marketers need to quantify the size and nature of a station’s online audience in PPM markets. It will include Average Quarter Hour and average minute audience metrics for digital streams. Eventually streaming pure-plays and diary markets will be included.

Nielsen will use its proprietary Software Development Kit technology, which is integrated into mobile apps and web players; it adds demographic and other information to the data gathered through the station’s streaming app, such as tracking a listener’s Facebook use.

“If we can get one standard currency where we can monetize all inventory, regardless of platform, that’s a good thing for radio,” summed up Greenspan.

RBR+TVBR observation: The timing is interesting. At the Nielsen Audio Fly-In held in December, officials said the company had done what it could for combined OTA and online measurement and the company needed input from advertisers, agencies and stations on some specifics. That was still true earlier this year. Knowing that it’s hard to get a consensus from such a diverse group of constituents, I gather from sources other than those named here that the company dived in and chose a path from the information it has in-hand.

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