The Media Audit/Ipsos To Get Millions From B'casters For Houston Test; Arbitron Responds
February 9, 2007 at 12:59 PM (PT)
As tipped this morning on ALL ACCESS, THE MEDIA AUDIT/IPSOS made the major announcement at RAB2007 that they will get millions from broadcasters for a full-market test in HOUSTON. CLEAR CHANNEL, COX, CUMULUS, ENTERCOM and RADIO ONE have all agreed to support a test of the TMA/IPSOS electronic ratings technology with a study that will include 2,500 Smart Cell Phone-carrying respondents age 12+.
If it goes well and there’s continued support, THE MEDIA AUDIT/IPSOS group tells ALL ACCESS it could quickly expand to the top 10 markets by the end of 2008 and the top 50 markets by the end of 2009.
Our studies show that the cell phone will dramatically improve the accuracy of the information being collected.
"We have been studying electronic media measurement for several years," said THE MEDIA AUDIT Pres. BOB JORDAN. "Getting people to cooperate in a panel to carry a monitoring device is critical for reliable and credible research. We conducted extensive surveys and tests that indicated the cell phone was by far the preferable monitoring device. Recent developments with the Smart Cell Phone meant that we were able to take advantage of cell phone technology for an advanced monitoring system. Our studies show that the cell phone will dramatically improve the accuracy of the information being collected. We are working with VERIZON and CINGULAR (AT&T) right now and expect to cut agreements with SPRINT/NEXTEL and T-MOBILE in the very near future."
THE MEDIA AUDIT Chairman and head of research JIM HIGGINBOTHAM said, "Aside from stronger respondent cooperation, THE MEDIA AUDIT/IPSOS Smart Cell Phone solution has many competitive advantages. Advertisers and their ad agencies want multi-media measurement so they can see radio in the context of the multi-media environment, and that is what the Smart Cell Phone system will deliver."
IPSOS MEDIA RESEARCH CEO RICHARD SILMAN explained how the system works: "It picks up radio exposure based on a code inserted into the broadcast signals of radio and TV stations as well as cable networks. The monitored signals are then transmitted in virtual real time to a data center where the data is cleaned, edited and then made available to subscribers."
'Great Interest To Go Electronic'
THE MEDIA AUDIT EVP PHIL BESWICK tells ALL ACCESS that data will begin to roll out in OCTOBER and will continue through NOVEMBER, DECEMBER and JANUARY and that the researchers will determine once the rollout begins how they want to present the information based on feedback from the radio community.
BESWICK says testing won't be conducted in other markets, but that the companies are "very optimistic that broadcasters will be pleased with the results. There is great interest on the part of the radio industry and agencies to go electronic."
Arbitron: TMA/Ipsos Have 'A Very Long Road To Travel'
In response to the news, ARBITRON Sr. VP/Press & Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY told ALL ACCESS, "We’ve found from long experience with the radio industry that a three- or four-month test will not provide the information that industry demands in order to make a decision about the validity of a ratings system.
"No one knows better than ARBITRON that there is a very long road to travel between the announcement of your very first test and the deployment of a service that delivers MRC-accredited radio ratings.
"We still maintain that THE MEDIA AUDIT and IPSOS are infringing our patents. We will be watching this test with great interest as we proceed with the patent infringement lawsuit we filed in OCTOBER 2006."