RAC Asks Arbitron For Larger Sample Size And A 'Need For Speed'
A Dozen New Members Named
May 10, 2012 at 12:22 PM (PT)
The RADIO ADVISORY COUNCIL met the press soon after its meeting with ARBITRON adjourned, and while RAC Chairman DON BENSON highlighted several issues discussed in the meeting -- such as a PPM "encoding software developer kit," improvements in its Leapfrog project and marketing mix modeling -- the hottest topics continued to be sampling size and what BENSON asserted as a "need for speed" in terms of the two parties' rapport. On the latter point, he divulged the RAC's request for three meetings a year instead of the current two -- and that ARBITRON was "comfortable" with that proposal.
BENSON cited the RAC's "sense of urgency" for ARBITRON to get back to it with possible solutions to the outstanding issues more often "without compromising on the quality" of the data. The biggest issue, of course, is still sample size. "There was a unanimous concern [at the RAC] with sample size," BENSON said, noting that the RAC asked for ARBITRON to investigate ways to accomplish that and "share their options for ways to increase sample size" as soon as possible.
During the Q&A session, BENSON noted that the RAC did not offer any specific ideas on increasing sample size at the meeting. It was more of conveying their "genuine concern" for action. "There are a bevy of ideas on how to get there," he said. We asked ARBITRON for their feedback, to share their feelings ... We need their outlook and suggestions."
When asked if sample size is impacting advertising revenue, BENSON asserted, "What you want are stable ratings. If they're not volatile, it would lead to a higher degree of reliability, which would make radio a more reassuring medium for advertisers to purchase."
But would the RAC be willing to pay more for a greater sample size? "We have to wait and see what information ARBITRON comes back with," BENSON said. "I can't comment on what special stations would do [in that regard]; all I do now that it is a concern for everybody."
Among the other topics discussed:
* A "divergence" of opinions were offered by RAC members about ARBITRON's subscriber-only ratings reports. Outside a suggestion that ARBITRON release all station data if all the subscribing stations approve of its release, BENSON said that the RAC was "at peace" with the current policy.
* There will be a third test for its new Leapfrog project; among the improvements will be an increase in black representation and inclusion of Spanish translation, and an improved user interface.
* More interactive elements to the PD, in the areas of couponing and coding, are in the works.
* PD Advantage is being improved.
* ARBITRON is in the process of building prototypes of an online radio ratings system. It will be tested first in "local" markets with stations that agree to give their server data to ARBITRON, then it will rollout nationally. No date has been set for the beta testing.
New RAC Members
Twelve new members of the RAC were also announced. They are:
* CHAD BROWN, Pres. of KATZ RADIO is the new National Radio representative.
* SALLY BROWN, Pres./GM of WSBT-TV and RADIO/SOUTH BEND represents customers in Diary markets.
* VINCE GARDINO, Exec. Dir./Underwriting Radio & Digital Media, NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO (WNYC-F, WNYC-A, WQXR)
* VAL GARRIS, VP/Programming for CUMULUS represents CUMULUS (top-5 group)
* IRV GOLDSTEIN, CEO of WLAD/WDAQ/WAXB/DANBURY represents customers in Diary markets
* TAMMY GREENBERG, SVP/Business Development from the RAB will attend as an Industry Advocate
* BOB HARPER, Sr. Dir. CMG RESEARCH is the new representative for COX (top-5 group).
* KURT JOHNSON, SVP/Programming of TOWNSQUARE MEDIA
* JOEL OXLEY, Sr. RVP/Market Manager for HUBBARD represents broadcasters in PPM markets.
* GARY ROZYNEK, Pres./CEO of MAVERICK MEDIA represents customers in Diary markets.
* BRUCE SIMEL, Market Mgr. BEASLEY BROADCASTING/GREENVILLE, NC represents customers in Diary markets.
* CHRIS WEGMANN, VP/Regional Manager at RADIO ONE represents Urban broadcasters.