We recently spoke with a buyer who wanted to remain anonymous, but had a lot to say about Nielsen’s entrée into radio this week for 50 markets. Said the buyer:
“I believe that Nielsen is throwing up a balloon to see if the entire radio industry wants them to get in to the radio ratings game. They are all pretty mad at Arbitron. This is just a portent of things to come. If Nielsen is in the radio business clients and agencies would be able to figure out what media works for them, combined, and they would have a potential single source. Nielsen could figure out quickly that they will have to use electronic measurement for radio, maybe based off of their LPM system with TV.”
We asked Nielsen: Is there a bigger picture here? No word back yet. But MRC Chairman George Ivie did comment: "The MRC has not yet spoken to Nielsen on this matter. They have not discussed accreditation of this new service with us, although we would look to discuss this matter with them soon.
We have no perspective on having two services, other than we hope that both services would be engaged in the accrediataion process going forward, as Arbitron’s service is currently. Nielsen has a number of other (non-radio) Accredited products.
The MRC maintains a neutral perspective as it relates to ratings suppliers and we do not get involved in financial matters, contracts, etc. We do have a strong preference that products are accredited as we believe that our accreditation provides valuable assurance to the marketplace regarding compliance with the MRC’s Standards, especially in the case of those products that are used for advertising currency."