The ratings company circulated a statement regarding the 32-page study from Larry Miller we reported on yesterday, defending itself from Miller’s criticism. Miller said Nielsen was an “improper measurement system that can be gamed and fails to deliver on the specifics that advertisers demand.” He also said PPM fails to take into account the passion a listener feels toward specific stations, under-samples younger and ethnic demographic groups, and has led to the mass format changes by stations devoted to softer music genres that can’t mask the PPM signal in noisier music, and led to a race for technology-driven advantages that allows richer stations to buy bigger ratings. Here’s how Nielsen responded.
“Nielsen’s audio data is best in class and is the industry accepted currency for the buying and selling of radio advertising. Our gold-standard panels and surveys fully represent the marketplace and provide comprehensive and representative measurement of consumer usage of radio. We strongly disagree with the report by NYU’s Steinhardt Music Business Program as referenced in yesterday’s Variety article. In Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report 2017, Q1 data shows that Generation Z spent over 35 hours per month listening to AM/FM radio and 88% of Generation Z use radio each week. Meanwhile, Nielsen’s Ethnic Audio Today report cites that nearly 75 million weekly radio consumers are Black and Hispanic – up from 73 million a year prior. Millions of Americans rely on radio for information and entertainment every week. Nielsen data affirms radio’s continued vitality. In the face of a constantly shifting media landscape, radio continues to have the broadest weekly reach among all media.”