(By Buzz Knight) Chances are, you’ve heard about The Council for Research Excellence(CRE). However, after just returning from a quarterly members meeting, I am convinced it is important to highlight the mission and purpose of this great organization. Following, are a few facts radio industry professionals should know about the CRE.
The Council for Research Excellence was formed in 2005 by Nielsen, with a foundation based in TV. Since that time, Nielsen’s measurement of media has expanded into radio.
The formation of CRE came as a result of then-Nielsen CEO Susan Whiting’s testimony before the Senate Committee of Commerce, Science and Transportation in opposition to legislation regulating TV ratings, where she affirmed Nielsen’s commitment to work with clients and community leaders through a free-market process to “ensure transparency and accuracy in the ratings.”
As a result of that testimony process Nielsen created the CRE to engage the industry in helping set the direction of basic research and development in methodological research.
Since the launch of CRE, Nielsen has funded the organization at an amount approaching $30 million incremental to its customary research and development investments. In 2013, Nielsen purchased Arbitron, which opened up the opportunity for radio to participate in the Council for Research Excellence. Even though radio was accepted into the CRE fold, the awareness level remained low.
Member companies on the TV side include Comcast, Scripps, NBC-Universal, ABC, Raycom, Cox, CBS, Turner, and Tribune. There is also very active participation by radio groups and organizations such as Beasley Media Group (the company I work for), Univision Radio, Katz Media Group, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the Radio Advertising Bureau. However, the radio industry needs to know more about the CRE.
Beyond membership, there is an Audio Committee that is actively engaged in processes, communication, and projects in collaboration with Nielsen. The efforts of this committee have yielded valuable research including a previous study about the viability of combining diary measurement along with qualitative for radio and TV. Currently, an analysis of the potential of hybrid measurement standards is being conducted for a white paper. All meaningful collaborations that are designed to try and help Nielsen improve measurement and therefore provide us, as an industry, with the measurement we need.
While the original intention of the CRE was based on a TV focus, that focus has now evolved to include radio. Radio should in turn place a renewed focus on the CRE.
Do you want to learn more about the CRE? If you are a Nielsen subscriber check out researchexcellence.com for information about past studies and committee work.
Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Programming for Beasley Media Group. He can be reached at [email protected]