Is This New Service Meant To Pressure Nielsen?


There are several radio executives we spoke to who believe this new measurement system was meant as “a poke in the eye” to Nielsen as the industry grows more and more frustrated with the ratings firm being unable to come up with a final product that measures both over-the-air listening and online listening.

Industry executives believe that without the ability to show advertisers and advertising agencies all listening, radio is leaving money on the table. And now is not the time to leave money on the table. There is also disagreement over why the product is being delayed.

From what we understand, from the side of the broadcasters, the reason the latest rollout of Nielsen’s digital audio product was delayed was because the technology Nielsen is using was missing data or missing listening and that’s the last thing the industry wants. So it remains in the testing phase. What Nielsen tells us is that some broadcasters need additional time to understand and get comfortable with the new data. “To accommodate client requests, we will extend the pre-currency preview period. Once we feel that clients are comfortable with the data, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings will become available to subscribers in TAPSCAN. Clients who are already receiving pre-currency preview data will continue to receive those reports, allowing them to analyze their own performance, but not in comparison to other stations. We will continue to work with our clients to provide them with additional information as it becomes available.

Back in May- we reported that Nielsen was ready to roll out the service. The Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings service collected data on more than 2,500 station streams across the 48 PPM markets. Data was supposed to be available in mid-March and mid-April with data from the February and March surveys. Since then there has been a delay in the rollout with no firm release date announced.

So what does Nielsen say about this new service? They issued the following statement: “We welcome new approaches to the marketplace, and as the global leader in audience measurement, we remain laser-focused on delivering innovative and superior quality audited processes and methods to the radio industry. Nielsen has the only representative measurement of radio listening. Year over year, Nielsen invests millions of dollars in our products and services, ensuring that our measurement and panels continue to meet the currency-quality standards the industry demands. Nielsen remains committed to our audio technology and we are always investigating new technologies and trends that will allow us to deliver high-quality radio ratings and insights.”


  1. Is it a shot at Nielson, or is this simply a case of the bigger players wanting to control measurement do they can manipulate the results for their own benefit? Can a company like iHeart, so far in debt, be trusted to report accurately on itself?


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