Ibiquity's Struble Discusses Short and Long-term Issues Facing Radio

Bob Struble, president and CEO of Ibiquity Digital Corporation, has published a column reviewing his take on the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Ibiquity is the owner of the intellectual property for HD Radio IBOC technology. They license the IBOC to broadcasters, technology suppliers, and consumer electronics companies who make the radios and other devices that utilize the technology.

In his column on the Ibiquity website, Mr. Struble points out that there are a growing number of consumer electronics products that will compete directly with traditional radio (which Struble refers to as AM/FM). He also addresses the current economic challenges facing AM/FM, saying:

In my view, AM/FM is having such business difficulty now because it is suffering from both cyclical and secular issues. The shorter term cyclical issues - the current broad recession and the bad state of some radio company balance sheets - will get better over time. The long term secular issues - the intense new competition from different sources of mobile information and entertainment and the myriad new choices that consumers and advertisers have - are not going away.

His point is that the recession presents one set of problems and the introduction of new competition to radio presents another set of problems. He says that HD Radio is not a "silver bullet," but simply an element in a more comprehensive strategy.

Indeed, this is true. What Mr. Struble calls "AM/FM" today may well be unrecognizable in just a few short years; indeed, it will be an amalgam of traditional analog radio, digital broadcast radio, IP-delivered radio, and web presence. For some broadcasters, these elements will be intertwined to present something that could be considered to be a completely different medium. Others will stick with one or two of these elements because that is how they can best service their audience.

Deloitte Predicts 2009 to be strong year for WiFi Radio

Deloitte Canada released some predictions for the media industry in Canada this week. One prediction of interest is "the dawn of WiFi Radio." Here's a quote from the analysis:

But in 2009, the availability of reasonably priced standalone Internet radio devices, 10,000 available stations, pervasive WiFi and location-aware technology will push consumers and advertisers alike to turn the dial to the Internet.

No doubt that they are on the right track... but it's not just WiFi... it's all the other new wireless IP technologies that will drive this as well. Certainly, smartphone (iPhone, G1, Blackberry and others) streaming applications using 3G networks, WiMax, and hybrid technologies like miRoamer and Blaupunkt's new aftermarket streaming enabled car radio will be at the crest of the wave.

Deloitte also makes the point that the location-awareness of these "receivers" will enable geographically targeted advertising. It's not just location awareness, though - these applications will also know who you are, so they can target ads even more accurately. Perhaps even personally.

It remains to be seen whether there will be enough funding available to drive this change in 2009.

No Free Lunch


An article on Boston.com, the Boston Globe's web presence, today discusses the abandonment of lunch service hours at Locke-Ober, a venerable institution in downtown Boston.

As you scan the article, look for what's missing as associated content.

Figure it out? No? Then, you need some remedial work in marketing 101.

What is missing is ads for lunch options around the neighborhood of Locke-Ober! Now, Boston.com is one of the original newspaper-owned websites and they do a tremendous job with their content. But - if the Globe is going to survive, they need some creative advertising sales efforts.

You can be assured that if you were reading this article on a Google-run site, you would see three our four ads with links to local restaurants.

So - how does this connect to radio? Well, imagine if you had the ability to be airing a local news story on your station about this subject and an ad (with a link that the user could type into their iPhone) appeared on the dial of the radio for a substitute restaurant. This ad simultaneously runs in the audio player for your internet stream, where it's clickable. Plus, a link goes out to Twitter.

Impossible, you say? Not so - it's very do-able today, with technology from companies like Broadcast Electronics and their "The Radio Experience" product line. They call it "Messagecasting" and it can be up and running in a radio station in just a few days.

This is the kind of thinking that all media outlets will need to embrace. Think synergy between your content (whether news stories, music, whatever), your listeners and advertisers. Think of ways to make the advertising accountable. Think of ways to not insult your audience with poor execution.

It is clear that the platform we will see emerge is a hybrid of "broadcast," web-based (I really want to say IP-delivered) and tangible media (as an example, scaled down newspapers). Local media entities will become a synergy of these parts. Each entity will have its own personality ("stationality") focused on it's rather narrowly targeted market. Because of the interaction between the components of the platform, advertising results will become more accountable. The successful local media entities will not be focused on just one or two media types (i.e., written word and video or video and audio) but will cover all media types equally well. Why? Because each one has its advantage for certain users in certain situations.

Want to start your own radio station? For free??

Sounds like a come-on from an email spammer, right? But - it's true. Radio automation, streaming and ad-serving provider Spacial Audio is offering up 50 "radio stations" to radio folks who have been "down-sized" sometime during the past 6 months. They call it the "Radio Bailout." Here's the deal:
1. Every Tuesday between February 3rd and April 7th, five people will be randomly chosen to receive their "radio stations." There will be fifty winners total. The Radio Bailout will end with the final drawing on Tuesday, April 7.
2. Each week's five Bailout recipients will be given an opportunity to build their own internet radio station through the following Spacial Audio software and service:
a) One (1) SAM Broadcaster v4 - (valued at $279.00)
b) One (1) StreamAds Ad Delivery Platform - (valued at $99/month)
c) Free use of one stream from SpacialNet.com, with the ability to serve up to 500 concurrent listeners at 128 kb/s - (valued at $1,150/month)
3. Just go to Spacial Audio's Radio Bailout web page for complete details

And - Spacial Audio will host your stream for up to 5 years!

500 concurrent listeners at 128kbs is a pretty decent sized audience with a quality stream; I wonder if they'll support 1000 at 64kbs?

They are even pitching this to salespeople - after all, a salesperson and some talent could hook up and build their business together.

I've gotta hand it to these folks - this is a terrific idea that will not cost a lot to implement but will both help Spacial get a lot of attention and help 50 radio folks become entrepreneurs. And - internet radio station owners.

The Audacity of Hopes

The well-written and to-the-point article by Jim Hopes, CEO of the Center for Sales Strategies, on the future of traditional media selling provides a cogent analysis and an audacious (in the good way) solution to a seemingly intractable problem in broadcast media sales. Here are a few lines from the article that shifted my thinking:
The first (and biggest) problem with broadcast sales departments is how they’re organized—much more as wholesale businesses than as retail businesses. Think about it:

A wholesale business is one that:
• Sells large quantities of its products to a short list of resellers.
• Deals with third-parties, with proxies and agents, not with the end-user of the product.
• Negotiates price and terms with professional specialist buyers, often defaulting to commodity
pricing levels.
• Sells about the same thing to every customer—a schedule.
• When broadcasters deal with transactional media buyers—national, regional, or local—they are
practicing the media equivalent of wholesale selling.

A retail business, by contrast:
• Sells smaller quantities to a broad range of solution-seeking end-users.
• Learns the end-user’s needs and problems and takes responsibility for finding or developing
• Solutions are tailored. No two look alike.
• Establishes consistent pricing for all customers, negotiating only on selected high-ticket items.
• When broadcasters deal directly with the end-user advertiser—whether there’s an agencyinvolved or not—chances are their entire approach is more like retail selling.

My experience both as a broadcast salesperson and as a provider of services to broadcast sales departments has told me this - but I hadn't put the concept into such a compelling argument.

Jim does.

Jim goes on to discuss solutions to the dichotomy of having a wholesale business with a retail customer base - I recommend that you read it carefully. You can find it here.

My contribution to this discussion is that - in many cases - this dichotomy exists not only in sales departments at radio stations, but also in the minds of salespeople. There are thousands of radio salespeople out there that know in their gut that the local media sales business is truly a retail business, yet they are forced by culture and compensation plans into selling like a wholesaler or they try to sell like a retailer to wholesale customers. These are the salespeople that you want on your team. They are probably the ones that are most likely to have the "right stuff" to succeed in this environment. And - based on my reports from the trade press, the people who remain at Clear Channel are the strong "wholesalers." The "retailers" are on the street.

Hire one or two and you'll get an immediate return on investment.

Social Media and Radio Advertising

So - in listening to a great podcast called Marketing over Coffee, I discovered an interesting example of the way a local business is utilizing social media to market their business. The example cited was a Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse in Northampton, Massachusetts. A case study was done on this restaurant by a social media marketing expert, Jason Falls. You can read it here.

How does this apply to radio?

Caminito's is exactly the kind of place that I would expect to find advertising on the radio - but apparently they aren't. They have, however, built an interconnected web of social networking connections that bring people to their restaurant. This is exactly the sort of thing that a radio station could do for a local advertiser; use the talents of your in-house web experts to build a complete campaign around radio and social networking. Use radio ads to drive people to the advertiser's social networking points of contact, like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Yelp!, and so on. Provide creative ways for the advertiser to interact with their customer. For example, Caminito's has a blog that is frequently updated with cooking tips and other information that relates to the restaurant. It works because it is not pure marketing - it has value to the reader that goes beyond the pitch for the restaurant. For example, January 13th's post was on "Ten Tips for Seasoning Food." So - not only do you learn something about seasoning food, but you also get a sense of how much these guys put into their restaurant. It's really quite brilliant.  Here's one of a dozen or so videos that they created on food preparation:


One thing that radio sales teams have been brilliant at over the years is showing local advertisers how to use radio in concert with other media to produce results. Using the power of radio advertising and social networking, you'll be able to amp up the results - and make them tangible to your advertiser.

A Brilliant Idea... I wish I had thought of it!

Tom Taylor had this story from the Great Falls, Montana, Tribune in his Taylor-on-Radio newsletter today:
This station is opening a coffee shop at its new location.
That's pretty nifty to think about - and on top of that, KEIN's new studios in Great Falls, Montana are at a former gas station, says the Great Falls Tribune. And catch Clay Holly's overall vision - "The idea is to have a local radio channel with news about Great Falls, and live disc jockeys. We also want to have opportunities for the coffee shop customers to have interaction through a mike." And yes - the coffee shop will have a drive-through window. Maybe they'll take requests. Munson Radio's KEIN (1310) plays adult standards - and keeping some of the old gas station signs in the new setup dovetails very neatly with the station's appeal.

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps/sv?cbp=12,57.01077724293397,,0,-14.61926109676359&cbll=47.511871,-111.264177&panoid=&v=1&hl=en&gl=us&w=425&h=240]

Wow - this is localism at its best. Might not work well in a large, urban environment or for a station that excites partisan craziness. But - this is a great way for a big station in a small market to really touch its listeners. This is something that world-wide market focused broadcasters like XM-Sirius and Pandora couldn't really pull off.

Brilliant, Clay! Hope you have great coffee!

High-Tech Gear Blogger gets Nielsen Radio Diary


Nicholas Deleon, of the well known high-tech gear blog Crunchgear, posted yesterday about the KRI Armband Portable HD Radio Player. Nothing in the HD Radio review that we hadn't seen on Orbitcast, but Nicholas did had one other interesting comment:

In other radio news, my household has been chosen to be a part of Nielsen radio’s stat-tracking thing. (I received the initial “you’ll be getting a giant packaged with official Nielsen materials shortly” yesterday.) The notebook will be filled out thusly: Opie and Anthony, Monday-Friday, 6am-9am, 92.3FM; every other entry will show that, nope, this household is not listening to that drivel known as terrestrial radio. Please plan your business accordingly.

It will be interesting to follow Nicholas' posts as he experiences the new Nielsen service. Since it seems that his household will be reporting listening to only CBS' K-Rock, I guess Cumulus and Clear Channel will be disappointed. My guess is that he's being surveyed for the Westchester market - that being the closest to NYC (home of K-Rock) of the 51 being surveyed. Or - is he getting Nielsen confused with Arbitron and he'll become a PPM panelist?

Blaupunkt introduces Streaming Radio receiver at CES

Dean Takarashi of VentureBeat reports today in the New York Times that Blaupunkt, the German maker of automotive electronics, is introducing an aftermarket car radio that provides the ability to receive streaming radio via bluetooth and a 3G connection on your cell phone:

"With a push of a button, you can switch from AM/FM radio stations to tens of thousands of Internet radio stations. You can browse by country, genre, station and keyword. You can also go to the web portal with a PC and instruct your device to play only certain preset radio stations. That cuts down on the browsing time. If you don’t want to do that, you can cruise through the top 100 feature on miRoamer.com.

The radio gets its music streamed in real time via a Bluetooth connection from the radio to your 3G cell phone. I’m not sure it’s going to work, given the spottiness of 3G coverage in the U.S. But you have to give them credit for trying something ambitious. The Blaupunkt guy told me that if you’re speeding fast, you will need higher bandwidth to make sure the radio reception doesn’t get choppy. There may be a reason no one has tried Internet radio in the car before, but if it works, it’s going to change the landscape for players like XM Sirius satellite radio.

It will cost $349 to $399 in the U.S. when it ships in the second half of the year. There will be two versions, one that occupies a single radio deck in a car and another that occupies two. It’s not clear whether Blaupunkt will charge a subscription fee or will make it avaiable for free."

Now, aside from the fact that this particular implementation seems a little "Rube Goldberg," the fact that a major aftermarket car radio manufacturer is introducing such a device is a big thing.

The time is coming closer where if a terrestrial broadcaster doesn't have a strategy for streaming their audio, they will be severely impacted by lack of exposure to the mobile audience. Of course, if a broadcaster sticks to a very local strategy, then this won't matter. But - imagine a local AM station having the ability to keep a listener from awakening in the morning to bed time at night, with a signal that reaches their audience at home, in the car on their commute way outside the AM's coverage area, in the office streaming on their PC or on an IP-enabled desktop radio, on the homebound commute, and finally back at home again. Couple that with the potential for interactivity provided by IP radio and you have a potent mix.

So - where does this put HD Radio? As much as I love what some stations are doing with HD Radio, it has little to do with the technology (aside from providing more audio channels) and everything to do with content. If companies like Blaupunkt roll out streaming radio receivers for cars, what's the real advantage to a radio station for investing in HD Radio? With IP radio streamed into the car, you can have all the advantages of HD Radio without the license fees to Ibiquity. And, this advantage accrues not just to the broadcaster, but to the manufacturer as well. It appears that technology and economics may be passing HD Radio by.

Radio Advertisers - where are the retailers?

After being inundated with news about the shocking declines in sales for retailers of all stripes last week, today a report by Media Monitors shows that only 3 of the top ten national radio advertisers last week were retailers. In fact, except for McDonald's, all the rest were services. Here's the chart:

Most of these advertisers are the most successful in their categories - and those that aren't are aggressively pursuing that success. So - why aren't more major retailers on this list - during the week that can make or break sales for the year? I would have expected Best Buy, Borders, WalMart, Costco, and the hundreds of other retailers who are beating their competition - yet still suffering from the economic conditions - to be part of this list. Not for brand advertising - but for hard hitting, direct response, traffic-building advertising.

Media Monitors data is a terrific sales tool for radio; we can now take a list of advertisers using radio, with the actual count of spots that they used, and match it up against the retail growth of the advertisers. The data can be sliced and diced by market, target demographic, and matched up against real retail sales data for the market. In PPM markets, we can match up with audience data to see an estimate of how many people heard the ads and correlate that to actual sales. And - unlike post-analysis done by agencies for their clients - this information is available to anyone willing to subscribe to it.

This is a game-changer for smart radio sales people if their employers subscribe to the service. Even if they don't, there's enough public information to allow a creative seller to use the new data to solidify an argument for radio. Armed with this data, we can bring more retail advertisers into radio, show them how to achieve the success of advertisers like Geico, and then provide data on the backside that will allow tracking of actual response.

Harker Research posts update to Nielsen vs Arbitron Survey

Harker Research just posted an update to their article of December 5th on a survey that they conducted of media buyers, researching buyers' reaction to Nielsen's entry into measuring radio. In a very thoughtful exposition of their original conclusions, the researchers bring more clarity to their conclusions. They also posted a brief description of the methodology used in their research:

Nielsen versus Arbitron: Why It Matters to Radio: "How the study was conducted

Our clients provided the contact information for nearly 100 key radio media buyers. The media buyers were those who regularly buy radio, so the views expressed were from the perspective of the radio time buying community, and presumably would favor Arbitron. By telephone Harker Research interviewers contacted as many of these buyers as possible during the week of December 1st. We ultimately completed interviews with 62. This is a significant proportion of the universe of media buyers, so the results are a reliable representation of the views of all radio oriented media buyers.

We first confirmed that the participant bought radio time and then proceeded to ask the four questions. For each comparison question they could choose either Arbitron or Nielsen as a response, but we also accepted 'don’t know' or 'both.' That is why the two responses do not add to 100%.

(Via Radio InSights.)

One point made in their article was that there hadn't been much made of cross-media measurement with PPM. Here's the quote:

"While Arbitron has touted PPM as a means to measure any audio based medium, there has been very little said by the company about actually measuring any medium other than radio (except in special commissioned projects). This is one area where Nielsen is clearly ahead of Arbitron. If Nielsen follows through with its promises, small markets may have a new tool to compete against other media. Let’s hope that Arbitron responds by providing the same information (at no charge) in larger markets."

Arbitron actually conducted some very in-depth research into the multi-media aspects of PPM, with live data being made available during both the Houston and Philadelphia test periods. In fact, the MRC accredited the data in Houston just over a year ago. Here's a link to the RBR article about that: Arbitron gets MRC Blessing for PPM TV data

The competition between Arbitron and Nielsen will only make both services get better - and that bodes well for both sellers an buyers of tv and radio advertising.

Signs of the season - Christmas carols whilst cleaning out your desk...

This weekend, as I was preparing for the week, I ran across John Gorman's site and this post on some of the signs of the season:
Radio: The Grim Reaper is the new Santa Claus: "I’ll tell it like it is. The Grim Reaper is the new Santa Claus.

It’s a bummed-out Christmas for our industry.

The bad news far outweighed the good.

A survivor of a recent massacre called to tell how surreal it was. One of their other stations had changed to its annual continuous Christmas format – and its music was being piped through the building as terminated employees were being escorted from the building.

There’s nothing like being ordered to leave the premises while Burl Ives sings ‘Have a holly jolly Christmas.’

Our industry used to be fun. On a good day it didn’t seem like work – and even the bad days were good."

(Via John Gorman's Media Blog.)

Pretty eerie stuff.

After getting your attention, John gets down to the meat of the matter - that radio needs to focus on doing better radio. This means many things, but above all it means keeping the passion in the presentation - whether delivered via 100,000 watt transmitters or streamed via WiMax or anything in between.

One of the most powerful tools that radio people have at their disposal theses days is the concept of "social networking." This is no secret to anyone who has been following the radio cognoscenti recently; but how we go about it is still somewhat opaque to most.

The fact is, radio has been a "social network" all along. People have a shared experience listening to their favorite station; some contribute "user generated content" (calls to Limbaugh and Hannity), some attend concerts, remote broadcasts, listener parties, live recording sessions, and so on. This social networking around radio has been going on since well before I was born. It's what attracted many of us to the business to begin with.

So - we need to expand our social networking experience to take advantage of new venues, whether they be Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or an iPhone application like Radiolicious. Use technology like Messagecasting (customized messaging to RDS displays on radios) to create even more powerful ties to your people (for example, crowdsource an event by messaging over Twitter and your Messagecasting channel). Tie it all together with a way for your advertisers to tap into this powerful network.

This is what radio folks have been doing forever. But, we have strayed from the path of providing genuineness to our listener. One thing we can't do is be disingenuous with these new social networking tools. That is the kiss of death, since the response mechanisms for the listener are so available, so immediate.

There's a challenging year ahead, but we can make this the year we re-confirm that radio does connect to lives in a powerful way.

So - Jerry D does think that it's the consolidators that have the weak radio product...

In an earlier post, I disagreed with Jerry Del Colliano on the subject of great content being created in radio. Here's something he wrote a few days ago that makes the point about independent operators:

A Radio Station That Signs Jocks To Contracts: "In Phoenix there is a station that actually does well -- how's number one 18-34 sound -- with a sub-par tower location and it competes with all the usual suspects like CBS and Clear Channel."


Nothing about great content on this station, but if you're #1 18-34 with no signal, something's being done right on the air!

Jerry Del Colliano on "Radio To Die For"

Jerry's posts - although usually very long - are usually right on the money. But, this one is way off the mark:

Radio To Die For: "Fact is -- radio stopped making compelling content over twenty years ago. We're noticing it more today because radio has become a vacuous entertainment medium that values business over show and thinks it can get away with stuffing cheap commercials into five-minute clusters."


There's a lot of compelling content on terrestrial radio; NPR and PRI programming certainly, but I also hear a lot of great programming from commercial stations as well. Typically these are the independent stations (here in the DC area, WRNR comes to mind; in the Boston area, WXRV is a safe bet) - it seems that the corporate-owned stations are the ones that Jerry is speaking of.

So I ask you - do you know of some corporate-owned radio stations providing compelling content? Add a comment and a link to the station's site so we can check them out. Let's show Jerry that there's some great radio being done by the folks who are toiling under the yolk of the shareholders.

Study: Radio Influences Online Behavior « Audio4cast

Jennifer Lane, of Audio4cast, posted this interesting bit yesterday:

Study: Radio Influences Online Behavior « Audio4cast: - December 17, 2008

A new study of ‘Digital Influencers’ finds that radio plays a significant role in their online behavior. MS&L, a communications firm and part of Publicis Groupe, partnered with Ipsos to survey nearly 1000 people whose online behavior defined them as a Digital Influencer because they frequently researched and passed on information online. The study found that traditional media - newspapers and magazines, television and radio - played a ‘vital role in igniting the process that leads influencers to share information online’. 84% of those surveyed said they go online to learn more after hearing something on the radio or seeing it on television."

(Via .)

It is vital for marketers to provide a way for listeners to easily access their information - an easy to remember web address is probably best - in the content that they are presenting on the air. Imbed this information into your audio content and use the new "messagecasting" tools available to radio stations to present metadata about the audio content over analog RDS and HD Radio Data Services. With these tools, you can combine an audio message with textual information like a web address, Twitter name or Facebook group.

When you are building your radio marketing campaigns, focus on your core market of influencers and provide a way for your message to go "viral."

Radio and Social Media

Monday, Radio Business Report ran an article on Media Mixing - social media and radio. It is a well thought-out analysis of how radio stations should approach the combinations of social media (like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and so on) and their "brand."

The author, Marivic Valencia, has a Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/techpr. I added her to my friends list; she quickly returned the favor. We exchanged a few tweets about her article. My questions were about how a station might use its RDS "Now Playing" feed as a Twitter feed as a way to serve the audience through Twitter.

Then, today, I read a post on the site Social Media Influencers about a research study that says that corporate blogs are among the least trusted types of blogs out there. The study, from Forrester Research, says:
"...people do not trust corporate blogs –which rank below newpapers, portals, wikis, direct mail, company email and message board posts in the trustworthiness stakes."

There's a great graphic that illustrates the problem - showing that email from people we know is the most trusted source of information with a score of 77%; magazines, Radio and TV are all clustered around a 39% (Radio, magazines) and 38% (TV) score. "Social networking profiles from a company or brand" and "company blogs" rank dead last, trusted by only 18% and 16% of respondents, respectively.

So - where does this put the social networking efforts of radio stations? The answer is obvious - they need to be "real" and not a confection of the promotions department. A feed of the "Now Playing" information can be a good thing - it's real - and should be experimented with. But this should be augmented with personal posts by the talent at the station - making the feed useful beyond knowing what is on the air right now. Also - it would be good for the station to follow their followers; you'll get some great insight into what's going on with your P1s - because that's obviously who your followers are.

Bottom line - because of Radio's personal and local nature, a radio station's social networking efforts will reap great rewards for both the station and the listener. But keep in mind that if you aren't honest and forthright with your social networking, you'll end up at the bottom of Forrester's next study.

HDTV and HDRadio - maybe they are alike

During my "industry update" time this morning, I read this article in RBR about the experience of a TV general manager. Gary McNair of WECT-TV in Wilmington, NC, during their recent turn to 100% digital TV.

It's hard not to think about the challenges facing stations that have switched to HDRadio when reading it. Most of the lessons that Gary enumerates are lessons that radio station management can learn from, too. Here's a list - interpreted for HDRadio; read the full article for details:

* Educate yourself. Experience the product. Become a consumer of free over-the-air digital radio. It is different in more ways than one.

* Prepare a station or market specific, easy to understand, “digital viewing guide” – complete with maps and pictures.

* Offer a digital help line for questions or problems.

* Be prepared – you will insult your P1s with the digital messages. These are the people responsible for the bulk of your ratings and you really don’t want to offend them or chase them off.

* Work with your fellow broadcasters if they are willing.

* Communicate with radio retailers and auto dealers. They are talking with customers every day.

* Educate your staff – especially your news and sales staffs who are constantly out representing the station.

* If you are not replicating your coverage area, be prepared for a lot of calls. Add temps to field or return calls.

* Don’t let listeners procrastinate - create real reasons for them to make the switch to HDRadio.

Arbitron vs Nielsen Part Deux

So - there's another, contradictory, study out there about the preference of Arbitron over Nielsen. It's from Media Life, an online publication for media buyers, planners and researchers. Here's a verbatim response from a participant:

"Nielsen would seem to have made a horrendously expensive, monopolistic mess of TV measurement. Now radio? Nielsen's entry into radio measurement may illustrate what journalist Naomi Klein has called the 'The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.' In short, for media buyers Nielsen's entry could mean chaos and confusion at the worst possible time. It could become a perfect example of 'disaster capitalism.'"

This survey suffers from the same lack of methodological documentation as the Harker survey; as such, both can only be construed as interesting, yet inconsequential expressions of opinion. Here's a link to the Media Life survey.

Arbitron vs Nielsen

Many of you know that Cumulus has announced that their partner for ratings in the non-PPM markets will be Nielsen. On Friday, a research firm called Harker Research, in Raleigh, published some research on their blog about the acceptability of Arbitron vs Nielsen to media buyers. Here's a link.

The basic conclusion is that Nielsen is preferred by media buyers over Arbitron. I find this to be contrary to real-world experience, so it would be interesting to see some detail on the composition of the sample. Like, were these buyers who currently buy radio? Are they in NY, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Raleigh? Stuff like that. How large was the sample?

This is the sort of business research that is very useful to the industry. I hope that Harker contributes more detail about their methodology and sample so that we can understand its true implications.