The Future, Ratings Are Focus At Conclave
July 20, 2009 at 4:59 AM (PT)
THE CONCLAVE wrapped up over the weekend in MINNEAPOLIS, and former R&R Exec. Editor PAUL HEINE blogs, writing "Fresh from a four-day road-trip of pitching national advertisers, RAB Pres./CEO JEFF HALEY offered his vision for radio’s digital future here JULY 17th, one that expands the medium beyond a multi-platform delivery system to an online retailer.
"In his first CONCLAVE LEARNING CONFERENCE appearance, HALEY cited sales tracking systems used by COCA-COLA, one of the clients he visited, to illustrate how radio audience measurement and accountability to advertisers need to evolve. 'You can sit at COCA-COLA in ATLANTA and know how many palettes of COKE ZERO moved in any market yesterday. Digital gives us the same ability to do that with our listeners to help us better craft our programming,' he said.
"Avoiding the subject of free-falling radio revenue, HALEY looked ahead to a time when consumers can access product info, download digital coupons and make purchases from radio-equipped, Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices. 'Radio on cell phones will be the perception game changer for us,' he said, pointing to MICROSOFT’s ZUNE mp3 player, which has sold four million units in the U.S. and offers iTUNES song tagging for devices that are WiFi-enabled.
"HALEY wants to employ RDS data, embedded in station signals, to expand his 'buy from FM' concept beyond music downloads. 'The idea that our content is all purchase-enabled, that changes the listener’s relationship with the station. Imagine you’re listening to an interview about the economy’s impact on retirement. You buy the podcast and receive free advice from your local ALLSTATE agent.'
Arbitron And Nielsen Discussed In Ratings Panel
On the heels of rolling out its PORTABLE PEOPLE METER (PPM) ratings service in Hispanic-heavy MIAMI and four other new markets last month, minority broadcasters have turned up the heat on ARBITRON. Speaking at THE CONCLAVE’s Ratings Roundup session here JULY 16th, GERRY BOEHME, EVP of KATZ MEDIA GROUP, added a deeper layer to the conversation about why many ethnic radio stations show ratings declines after transitioning from ARBITRON's diary service.
"Acknowledging that ARBITRON’s ability to adequately represent minority audiences in its ratings panels is an issue, BOEHME also noted that ethnic and younger listeners tend not to participate in research studies as much as older demographics do. Compounding the problem, the PPM reports shorter listening patterns than the diary. This is especially harmful to ethnic stations, which often had the longest Time Spent Listening of all formats under the diary. And while many stations have benefited from the vastly larger cume audiences detected by the meter, Spanish language operators aren’t among them -- they’re far less likely to pick up additional listening from English-speaking audiences. 'This is a really tough issue and one of the most visible sampling issues in PPM,' BOEHME said.
"The session also opened a wider window on NIELSEN’s new diary ratings service, which fielded in 51 small markets in the spring with results expected later this summer. Larger in size than ARBITRON’s diary, the sticker diary is designed to collect what NIELSEN RADIO AUDIENCE MEASUREMENT senior client service manager BRENT LIGHTFOOT called 'buyer-graphic data.'
"But session moderator STEVE GOLDSTEIN, EVP of SAGA COMMUNICATIONS and a former member of the ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL, chided NIELSEN for only testing the sticker diary 'in one market, for one week in a very white-bread market.' LIGHTFOOT defended the LEXINGTON, KY., pilot study, saying it returned an in-tab sample of 588 and was intended only to ensure that 'all of our systems were working' and not to produce ratings currency."
Read HEINE's full blog here.