Nielsen to Alter Radio Reporting

As reported in Inside Radio last week, Nielsen is planning a major change in its radio reporting beginning in 2021.  According to the article:

“Nielsen will no longer include listening data for non-subscribing stations in the summary dataset that fuels the major buying systems used by agencies and advertisers. The policy change goes into effect in January 2021 for PPM markets, in April 2021 for continuously measured diary markets and with the release of the spring 2021 survey data for two-book-a-year diary markets.”

The decision has been controversial. The decision seems to have a more significant impact on diary markets as opposed to PPM markets. According to Inside Radio:

“The impact of Nielsen’s controversial “Subscriber First” policy change will be felt much more deeply in the more than 200 diary markets than in the 48 PPM markets. Nielsen’s current subscriber penetration rate among the top 20 ranked stations in PPM markets is 97%. But in diary markets it’s in the low to mid-80s, meaning somewhere between 15% and 20% of the top 20 ranked stations in diary markets will become invisible to buyers in Strata and other buying platforms when the new policy goes into effect next year.”

Over the years a number of station groups especially in “diary markets” have opted out of Nielsen.  Nonetheless, the impact of the decision could be significant in these markets as stations try to compete with digital services.

To see the complete story in Inside Radio click HERE.


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