Atlanta - Nov 18, 2008 - Arbitron has been the center of radio ratings for many years, but recently, several broadcasters began to look at alternative services. As part of this effort, Cumulus Media initiated a request for proposals (RFP) for a new service provider. The Nielsen Company, known for its presence in TV ratings, answered the call.
Starting in 2009, Nielsen will provide audience measurement and radio ratings in 50 small- and mid-sized U.S. markets. Another broadcaster has already stepped in to use the service. Clear Channel Radio will subscribe to the syndicated service in 17 of the markets where the service will be offered.
Nielsen has provided radio measurement services for more than 60 years. The service, which begins in Q3 2009, will use a sticker diary method. To recruit sample households, Nielsen will use address-based sampling (ABS), a method pioneered by the company. This method uses randomly selected addresses rather than telephone numbers. This approach in its domestic television measurement reaches the 34 percent of U.S. households that are not covered by current sampling methods, including cell-phone only and many unlisted landline phone households.
Nielsen says that it plans to survey large samples to reduce relative error and bounce, as well as invest in oversampling and differentiated incentives to improve response rates and representativeness among hard-to-reach demographics. In 2010, an e-diary option will be added, which the company expects will appeal to younger demographics.