It is very smart of Arbitron to address social media’s impact on radio ratings clearly, as they have in the policy brief linked above. It’s beneficial for all broadcasters and web publishers to understand Arbitron’s view on ratings distortion and the importance of social media’s ability to engage and influence an audience. It’s comforting to know that Arbitron is monitoring websites and radio station social media pages to insure that companies aren’t using social media to boost their terrestrial radio audience delivery by engaging with respondents.
Of course, this point becomes a bit murky because internet radio providers aren’t really addressed and are harder to regulate at this point. These companies are hustling for an online listening session, just everyone else.
When a true multi-platform audience measurement delivery system is in place for media and entertainment providers to track total audience delivery, the best practices will probably be updated again.
Also in this article, Agovino claims that today’s radio audience represents between $650-$900 million to the Internet Radio industry (between pre-roll audio/video ads, instream audio ads, and display ads with typical CPMs).
In response to Arbitron’s desire to measure all Radio uniformly, Agovino suggests that Internet Radio has it’s own measurement system because he feels that the traditional budgets that will be tapped to pay for Internet radio are shrinking.
As stated in an earlier post, this will be very interesting.
This doesn’t surprise me much. There is a massive industry built around Arbitron’s audience measurement and changing that is daunting for all traditional Radio operators.
From what I understand, there is a similar situation going on between Nielsen, Broadcast television and Cable. Cable operators, like Pure-Play Internet radio stations, want equal audience measurement, but Nielsen’s bond to Broadcast television looks an awful like Arbitron’s bond with Radio.