FiveThirtyEight Looks At PPM Problems, Voltair Controversy
June 30, 2015 at 2:59 PM (PT)
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM, NATE SILVER's popular statistical analysis website, took on the issue of whether NIELSEN's PPM radio ratings methodology is shortchanging certain formats.
The article by CARL BIALIK, "Did NIELSEN Kill The Radio Star?," examines the sharp ratings collapse of the Smooth Jazz format after the introduction of metered measurement and asks, "What if Smooth Jazz wasn’t killed by neglect, but by bad data?" The VOLTAIR issue is also explained in the article, and consultant VALERIE GELLER is quoted as saying, “What a shame to not play certain songs or hire certain talent because they don’t ‘encode.' That’s nuts.”
Read the FIVETHIRTYEIGHT post here.
The article caught the attention of HARKER RESEARCH's RICHARD HARKER, who focuses on a comment by NIELSEN's JON MILLER who said flatly that while "We're still trying to figure out what VOLTAIR is doing ... we've been confident from day one that our system does give the proper amount of credit."
HARKER contrasts that comment with a quote from an ARBITRON engineer who said, "We had concern about various types of formats. It was thought that Classical and some Talk formats would be challenging to encode and possibly decode reliably."
Read HARKER's take here.