Monday, October 02, 2006

Radio's Looming Internet Ratings Crisis

A No-Nonsense Marketing Smart Tip
October 2, 2006
Mark Ramsey at Hear 2.0
This is serious business. As in serious dollars and cents.

I'm talking about Arbitron's rules on measuring audience for radio stations via online listening.

According to those rules, if the station isn't 100% simulcast online and off - including all commercials - then it does not count as listening to that station.

But because of antiquated AFTRA rules that charge high fees on repurposing these spots online, most stations don't run them.

Here's what that means: The more folks shift some of their audio listening to the Internet (in all its forms) and the better the job that Arbitron does at capturing that listening, the more likely you are to LOSE audience by streaming (technically speaking) - unless, of course, you or your agencies and their clients pay the high fees for a programming stream which is barely monetized.

This will become a serious problem for your station when Arbitron's new diary design goes into effect in 2007 or 2008 and listeners are provided with a column to check that essentially says "Internet" right next to the ones that say "FM" and "AM."

I STRONGLY recommend that you listen to my Q&A with Steve Goldstein, former Arbitron Advisory Council board member and chair and current head of programming for Saga Communications.

Steve will highlight this problem, the reasons for it, and what we as an industry must do about it.
Listen Here.


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