Arbitron Reaffirms Commitment To Fight Nielsen, Poll Cites PPM Support
December 5, 2008 at 2:50 PM (PT)
ARBITRON Pres./CEO STEVE MORRIS took the occasion of its Consultant Fly-In to reiterate that the ratings company will essentially be going to war against NIELSEN for the small-market ratings business. In a related matter, a poll of media buyers indicate that a large majority prefers the PPM over NIELSEN's proposed annual sticker diary.
On two occasions -- the conference itself as well as the preceding night's dinner, MORRIS emphasized that ARBITRON is "not going to give an inch" in its battle for clients in small markets, and the company is prepared to do whatever it takes to compete and ideally reclaim the lost business.
While it's good to have a competitive option, if there are two sources for data (with different methodologies and subscribers), there won't be a common currency that buyers can use to accurately assess their buys, which will cause a lot of confu
ARBITRON would not doubt be heartened by the results of a poll of media buyers and planners, conducted by MEDIA LIFE, which found that 84% of respondents chose it over NIELSEN's proposed system. What's more, 75% believe ARBITRON's PPM will eventually win the imminent small-market battle for subscribers.
A clear majority of respondents are happy with the PPM so far, as 55% think it's a "vast improvement" over the diary, with another 27% would call it just an "improvement over the old system." Only 12% believe it's worse of much worse than the diary. (The remainder consider the two methodologies about equal.)
The main cause for concern: Almost half, 47% believe that "the lack of MEDIA RATING COUNCIL accreditation remains a concern." However, they do not endorse the notion that the PPM "undercounts" Black or Hispanic listeners, as only 21% described the PPM as "substantially flawed" and that the "underreporting complaints have some basis in fact, and they should be looked into."
In fact, a greater percentage (30%) flatly reject the notion, while 49% admit to harboring doubts, but the bottom line: "The PPM is better than the old system."
What's Wrong With Nielsen?
The reasons NIELSEN's proposed system doesn't better the PPM: Almost 80% are unhappy with just an annual release of data, and 64% don't approve of it being based on paper diaries. Asked for the most logical reason for NIELSEN's move into ratio ratings, 65% believed it was to "pacify station owners upset over declining ratings at the expense of media buyers and advertisers and their need for accurate measurement data."
While more than a few respondents welcome competition, at the very least to keep ARBITRON on its toes, the negatives seem to outweigh the positives as far as media buyers are concerned. As one respondent noted, "While it's good to have a competitive option to ARBITRON, if there are two sources for radio data (with different methodologies and different subscribers), there won't be a common currency that buyers can use to accurately assess their buys, which will cause a lot of confusion on both sides."
Read the entire story here.