Cumulus Ratings RFP Process Almost Complete
September 26, 2008 at 8:06 AM (PT)
If you know CUMULUS co-COO JOHN DICKEY, you know him to be detail-oriented and precise. When he rolled out the word that CUMULUS was opening an RFP for an alternate ratings system in markets 100+ (NET NEWS 4/14), he knew the process was going to be complicated.
While it's taken longer to get to the end of the process, (NET NEWS 4/21, NET NEWS 5/14 and NET NEWS 7/9), the fruits of DICKEY's labor are close to being realized. In an exclusive interview with ALL ACCESS, he noted, "While in AUSTIN, I held a series of meetings with our research partners and am happy to report that the RFP process is winding down, and I am confident that in a short period of time the result of this RFP will reveal a new ratings system where quality, size and proportionality of sample are critical to its success.
I can reveal that you will be looking at samples that are at least twice as large as presently offered by Arbitron. They will be address-based, so we will have cell phone-only households included out of the box ...
"While I can't tell you everything yet, I can reveal that you will be looking at samples that are at least twice as large as presently offered by ARBITRON. They will be address-based, so we will have cell phone-only households included out of the box, and our margins of error will be smaller than ARBITRION."
DICKEY continued to contrast the differences between his forthcoming ratings system and ARBITRON. "Our product will have a web-based software interface that will allow sales and programming to view and utilize the data in user-friendly environment, versus relying on third-party suppliers to facilitate this process."
While holding cards close to his vest about whether this will eventually lead into an electronic ratings system to compete with ARBITRON's PPM, DICKEY disclosed, "There is a bigger picture in all of this -- starting out with markets 100+. But the larger issue is the well-being of our industry and holding advertisers accountable to a ratings system that shows the true value of radio. OCTOBER will be a big month for the RFP process and our new ratings system. This could well be a game-changing event."