Harker Asks, 'Is Arbitron's Secrecy Hurting Radio?'
November 16, 2010 at 9:02 AM (PT)
HARKER RESEARCH has taken on some of ARBITRON's policies in past blogs, and they're at it again this week. They write, "Broadcast radio faces many challenges including a widespread impression that people have stopped listening. Radio is in a public relations funk, and the NAB’s attempted back-door deal for a cell FM chip hasn’t helped. WILLIAM KERR, Pres./CEO of ARBITRON, recently declared his interest in helping radio. He wants ARBITRON to become an advocate for radio and increase the medium’s profile. A good start would be to lessen ARBITRON’s obsession about limiting public discussion of radio ratings."
HARKER writes that it's much easier to see TV ratings, saying "With a quick GOOGLE search you can find NIELSEN ratings, rankers, demo breakouts and trends for about any show you want. NIELSEN television ratings are openly shared and discussed in the media. ARBITRON ratings? Not a chance."
In fact, publishing rating estimates beyond total person full week shares is violating ARBITRON’s fair use agreement. [ALL ACCESS publishes those numbers here.]
"People underestimate the size of radio's audience," continues HARKER. "People just assume that radio is on the ropes. ARBITRON could help radio better fight back if it gave its clients more tools to counter the misconceptions. If ARBITRON wasn’t so secretive about the numbers, and wasn’t so heavy-handed towards transgressors, radio would have more powerful tools to push back on the radio is dead meme. Radio needs to start rebuilding broadcast’s image. Freeing the public to talk about ARBITRON ratings like they do NIELSEN ratings would be a good place to start."
Read the full blog here.