Randy Kabrich: Nielsen Finally Calls Out Voltair as 'Emperor's New Clothes'
July 21, 2015 at 2:45 PM (PT)
NIELSEN's decision today to finally comment on VOLTAIR -- ruling that the ratings service will not support it, but would make improvements on the PPM instead -- didn't surprise RANDY KABRICH, who considers this entire brouhaha as much ado about very little, if anything. What's worse, VOLTAIR's presence is getting both credit and blame it doesn't deserve.
"So NIELSEN has told you that VOLTAIR does not turn the radio rating world upside down as you know it," he wrote on his blog. "In their testing, they only found the unit to be of some benefit when the background noise was equal or greater to the loudness of the source (your radio station)."
He believed the reason for the controversy is more due to the facts that too many people still don't understand how the PPM monitors radio stations and that NIELSEN refused to comment on the situation when it first cropped up, which only added fuel to the fire.
"The MEDIA RATING COUNCIL has examined every aspect of the PPM very extensively in their audits. They currently have accredited PPM in 26 of the 48 markets. In the 22 markets in which the PPM is not accredited, it is because of sample issues, not because of some flawed PPM methodology. And let’s face it, almost everyone wants a better sample, regardless of market! Who is willing to pay for it is the issue.
"These policies for stations to receive credit from the PPM codes were put in place many years ago after years of testing because it is known that the PPM meter misses codes!" he continued. "And yet, the results are statically valid. Otherwise no PPM markets would be accredited by the MRC. And don’t you find it interesting that the MRC has agreed to look at VOLTAIR with stations who have gone to it based on their own observations? Look at it from the outside. What do those stations gain? It is almost as if they have post purchase dissonance and need someone to tell them they made the correct decision.
KABRICH's assessment: "If anyone wants to purchase a $15,000 processor, as over 700 of the competitive stations in the 48 USA PPM markets have already done, I do feel confident that TELOS will be happy to sell you one, despite the non-support from NIELSEN.
"The unit will most certainly increase the RAW METER detections of the codes from your station. Your station might even increase from the RAJAR 59% level up to 80% or 90% detection!
"As a result, your SUNDAY morning 9a ritual to check MEDIAMONITORS for the weekly raw meters counts will make you VERY happy. However, just like the Electoral College, that does not mean the increase in raw meter and your ratings will track accordingly, as many have already discovered."
He also demands, "Stations should just come clean about if they have a VOLTAIR on the air -– as well as when it was installed. There is simply no benefit to keeping it quite any longer."
There is also one other upshot to VOLTAIR that KABRICH believes cuts -- erroneously -- both ways. "The saddest part of this is in my mind is that there are many people working very hard every single day," he writes. "Some are giving over 100%. And for their efforts when the numbers have come out over the past year, their hard work goes un-noticed. 'It was the VOLTAIR.'
"And then there are some who were lazy. Their numbers went down. And then the VOLTAIR across the street became the excuse!"
To read the entire blog, please click here.