After a two month absence, Ando Media, the company that counts the users of Pandora and hundreds of other paying Internet audio providers, resurfaced this month to release their monthly Internet Audio Top 20 Rankers for March and April.
We speculated that the company’s disappearance meant the numbers were being retooled, and sure enough, they were. The press release accompanying the new ranker noted that beginning with the March ranker:
All sessions greater than twenty-four hours have been truncated to twenty-four hours.
By announcing the new policy, Ando Media was essentially admitting that they had been counting sessions that lasted more than a day.
Apparently the Media Rating Council, from which Ando Media hopes to one day gain accreditation, had a hard time believing that Internet users could listen to an Internet streamer continuously for days at a time.
The good news is that the MRC thought it wise to limit sessions to twenty-four hours. The bad news is that the MRC apparently believes that Internet listeners really can listen continuously for twenty-four hours.
Imagine a diary review where you find a diary from someone who claims to have listened to a station for twenty-four continuous hours. You might object.
While there is nothing in Arbitron’s Description of Methodology that specifically flags day-long listening spans, Arbitron generally disallows excessively long diary entries.
But the Media Rating Council, that enigmatic organization that secretly passes judgment on this sort of thing, apparently thinks people who listen to Internet streams don’t sleep.
Once again broadcast radio is being held to a higher standard than the Internet.