Harker Research Claims PPM Costs Radio Big Bucks
July 27, 2010 at 4:21 AM (PT)
Following the most recent NIELSEN release of data from 51 markets across the country, HARKER RESEARCH has come up with an estimate that should send shivers throughout sales departments throughout radio.
"Seven billion more dollars. That’s what we estimate radio stations in the top-50 markets could add to their billing if radio used NIELSEN numbers rather than ARBITRON PPM numbers," wrote HARKER.
How did they come to that conclusion?
In comparing PPM to ARBITRON diary research and NIELSEN's diary info, HARKER found that "PPM estimates that TSL in PPM markets is a little under 12 hours. In markets still measured by diary, TSL is about 17.5 hours, almost 50% higher. NIELSEN using their own sticker diary estimates TSL at nearly 23 hours a week, nearly twice ARBITRON’s PPM TSL. The most important measure from a sales standpoint is AQH rating, and here ARBITRON’s PPM estimate is nearly 30% lower than its own diary estimates, and 45% lower than NIELSEN’s."
Seven billion more dollars. Thatâ€™s what we estimate radio stations in the top-50 markets could add to their billing if radio used Nielsen numbers rather than Arbitron PPM numbers.
HARKER blogs that media buyers would pay higher rates if the NIELSEN AQH rating of 16.5 was used, rather than ARBITRON's 9.1 rating -- and not only financially.
"Radio wins financially, but equally importantly, it wins psychologically," HARKER wrote. "Lower PPM numbers portray a medium in trouble. The uninformed and those who have a financial interest in perpetuating the myth that radio is in decline can point to ARBITRON’s lower PPM estimates and use them to beat radio up."
ARBITRON had "no comment" when asked to respond to this study.