Randy Kabrich Delves Deeper Into Voltair
July 23, 2015 at 4:00 AM (PT)
On TUESDAY (NET NEWS 7/21), ALL ACCESS reported NIELSEN held its eagerly-anticipated "PPM Enhancements and VOLTAIR Testing Update" webinar, and the clients-only presentation by EVP/Local Media Client Solutions MATT O’GRADY, SVP/Product Leadership JENNIFER HUSTON and Chief Engineer ARUN RAMASWAMY included the results of testing that showed VOLTAIR does not affect the accuracy of NIELSEN's PPM numbers in quarter hour intervals, but does have a positive effect in extreme cases of audio interference when the audio itself is unintelligible.
I set out to see the damage that would happen in real life listening, not a Telos lab.
NIELSEN's decision 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 wrote TUESDAY (NET NEWS 7/21) that he 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.
TODAY (7/23), KABRICH is back, writing, "After my last blog entry, combined with the NIELSEN PPM Webinar, a surprising number of people continue to state in the trades they remain upset by the lack of facts. I find that quite confusing in and of itself, but upon reflection, I realize what good programmers have known for years ... listen to the people – and they want facts! As I have spent literally hundreds of hours over the past two-and-a-half weeks ripping apart, sorting six ways to SUNDAY and digesting the JUNE 2014 (pre-VOLTAIR) – JUNE 2015 (post-VOLTAIR) PPM Reports, I know all the data that support the statements and unfortunately others do not. They just have not spent the time to really analyze what is going on. That is why I am so comfortable with what NIELSEN said on TUESDAY while others are not. I mean, do you really think I wrote that piece in 30 minutes after the NIELSEN webinar ended? I knew what they would say because I had gone through all the data myself."
KABRICH describes a webinar featuring TELOS’s FRANK FOTI. He writes, "During that webinar, FOTI made a number of statements concerning VOLTAIR and PPM," noting, "You can see for yourself starting at 27:00 into the webinar, FOTI states he is a 'huge' fan of the Rock and Roll band THE WHO. He goes on to state he has tickets to the COLUMBUS, OH concert on FRIDAY night and more info on THE WHO than you care about. While listening to 'Won't Get Fooled Again' from THE WHO’s 'Next' Album in his lab, he states he discovered that the first 90 seconds of the song (the Synthesizer part) 'just does not encode for PPM'. In fact, he goes out of his way to emphasize how that song 'just does not encode.' He goes on about this for two-and-a-half minutes, stating how broadcasters must look at the material they play, especially the material that 'does not encode well'. That statement in and of itself is pretty damning of the PPM process. I thought to myself, 'This will show the process does not work and is damaging to the Radio Industry!' With that in mind, the worst of the worst had been identified. 'Won't Get Fooled Again,' 'just does not encode' according to FOTI and his test equipment in a lab environment."
"So," KABRICH notes, "I set out to see the damage that would happen in real life listening, not a TELOS lab."
Read KABRICH's latest post at blog.kabrich.com.