« Nielsen's Eric Cartman Moment: Respect My Authority! | Main | Shocker! Radio is Growing! »

August 10, 2015



It still amazes me that Nielsen ignored complaints from many stations year after year after year after year about the suspicious behavior of the PPM and did absolutely NOTHING about it. Then Voltair came along, addressed the problems through extensive technical analysis by some of the most distinguished minds in audio research, and suddenly....Nielsen reacts! Here's the reaction: We don't think Voltair works, but we are now going to issue a new software version which will fix the problems which we still insist do not exist! I have never heard such double-talk in my whole life. Also: Thank you, Mr. Harker, for your excellent analysis of Mr. Kabrich's oversimplification of a very complex subject

Ted Schober, PE

Everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room. If PPM under-reports some formats, that means that it under-reports TOTAL radio listening in a market.
Radio stations do compete with each other, and relative ratings are critical, but systematic under-reporting of some stations means that RADIO is being under reported compared with ALL OTHER MEDIA! The pernicious nature of driving out what may be the best content,and then shrinking the overall numbers by, who knows, maybe 10% of listenership in the biggest markets. That has to hurt the industry as a whole. People in my market are putting their money in social media instead of radio. How much of that is from the "hit" that radio is taking from PPM's systematic under-reporting.

Dick Taylor

PPM only rates 18% of the 273 rated markets that Nielsen publishes audience estimates for. And if I remember correctly, to introduce PPM, everyone was told how awful the diary was for estimating radio audiences. Yet, 82% of the total audience ratings published by Nielsen are measured by the diary methodology.

Having never run a radio station in a PPM market, this to me always stung like a bee. (And the diary measured something many too easily discounted, loyalty and passion for a radio station.)

If Voltair causes everyone to demand better measurement of radio, it can't be anything but a good thing for the radio industry in the end.

But it seems that Nielsen really needs to pick up the pace to repair the damage before the patient expires from waiting.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Radio Insights

  • email us at [email protected]
  • Radio Insights is a service of Harker Research, a leading U.S. media research and consulting company. Harker Research provides innovative and insightful strategic research to help our clients grow.

    With nearly thirty years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of radio stations create innovative solutions to the challenges they’ve faced. Today radio faces a myriad of new challenges. Harker Research is helping our clients prepare for this new world.

    We believe that 21st century challenges require 21st century solutions, solutions created through our custom action-oriented strategic research. And while radio faces many new challenges, radio also faces many new opportunities that can potentially transform the medium. Our broad range of proprietary research tools are each tailored to help radio stations capitalize on these new opportunities.

    Our experience, skills, and tools can help stations rejuvenate old formats or develop new formats. We can help create and strengthen a brand’s positioning. Our research can create tools to develop and enhance the full brand experience across multiple media and vehicles, from traditional mass media to web and wireless strategies. As radio moves towards electronic measurement, Harker Research is helping our clients to compete in this new arena.

    Radio Insights explores the many turbulent forces swirling around radio. It offers our take on the issues of the day and demonstrates the company’s original thinking. If you would like to talk with us directly about any of the issues we touch on, call us at (919) 954-8300.