Broadcasters, agencies and media planners want to manage different kinds of data across multiple devices. The media industry has grown up with single sources - Arbitron for radio; comScore and AdsWizz for digital; Nielsen for the U.S., BARB for the U.K., etc. Today the media landscape has become very disjointed and too wide-ranging to let any single source of data do all the work.
In today's rapidly evolving media world, the measurement business encompasses two varied game changers. On one side, you have the companies that gather the numbers on every channel; on the other side you have the digital service providers, the management software and cross channel analysis technologies. The latter are touting their holistic interfaces, sophisticated planning tools, and analytics software that enable planners the ability to integrate all the varied data sources into one all-encompassing view.
The measurement landscape
Measurement obviously is only as good as its ability to understand the media universe that it's measuring. Broadcasters and media planners alike have come to understand there is a lot more to measurement than numbers. AdsWizz, which provides the digital audio industry's CDNs, ad networks, advertisers, and online audio publishers with ad serving and audience measurement technologies, has invested a lot in understanding how and what technology is being used in digital radio with regards to how the different parts fit together as a whole to provide a holistic, overarching view.
Rich Broadcasting, a fairly new broadcast group specializing in small-market radio is led by 30-year-veteran of the radio business, Richard Mecham. During the establishment of its broadcast group, the company was early to leverage technologies from AdsWizz and Liquid Compass. In a recent interview with the head of Rich Broadcasting, Josh Tielor, it became quickly clear that the company's vision is to use the latest in digital audio technology and measurement capabilities to service the Rocky Mountain region.
Rich Broadcasting wants to make the most of real-time, actionable analytics on its digital listenership. Advanced metrics within the AdsWizz platform provide detailed analysis of listener figures. Content providers can assess their ROI using the insight gathered from audience habits in which the content providers can report these figures to sponsors and supporters. Viewer and listener analysis is the first step to intelligently monetizing streaming media. Today the solution powers advertising in a number of forms: pre-roll, post-roll, mid-roll, overlay interactive overlay and RSS scroller. It enables broadcasters to replace FM adverts with Internet adverts (national or local) and target advertising on the basis of time and day of the week, location, player or device, demographics or any other user data. It also facilitates contextual advertising, based on events within the stream.
Nielsen and Arbitron, popular radio measurement services, are looking at terrestrial or satellite radio, and are taking into consideration Pandora. It used to be that digital media planners had apples-to-oranges comparisons when trying to include Pandora as part of radio budgets. Now with up and coming players like AdsWizz and Target Spot, the game is shifting. Arbitron's recent endeavors show commitment to next gen online ratings solutions that this time around will allow both traditional radio stations and pure-play Internet companies the ability to measure listeners in. Additionally, session-based measurement is finally offering more than just estimates.
The analysts' predictions
According to Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Krishna Jayaramant, "If measurement doesn't keep up with the different modes that each media channel takes, then something's amiss. The onus of fixing this situation will have to involve Arbitron and Nielsen and any other measurement service as well as the technologies that help media planners make use of the data that other businesses have gathered."
Now that there are two radio sectors - the old terrestrial kind and the new digital one - measurement service companies need to make good on their responsibility to digital radio. What that entails is a paradigm shift including the measuring of both segments of radio and doing it equally well.
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