Following a nine-month review process, the Federal Trade Commission approved the acquisition, as long as Arbitron makes its Portable People Meter available to third parties for cross-platform measurement for at least the next eight years.
Jack Wakshlag, Turner Broadcasting chief research officer, offered a spirited endorsement Wednesday of Nielsen’s proposed $1.26 billion deal to acquire Arbitron. From his perspective, the media industry needs reliable cross-platform measurement that can serve as a currency. And, he believes a marriage will move that along.
The proposed acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen came a step closer to reality on Tuesday with an almost unanimous vote by Arbitron shareholders to approve the deal.
The Gannett-owned NBC affiliate in Cleveland is being sued by Arbitron, which claims the station used data attributed to Aribitron that was not produced by the ratings company. The station does not subscribe to Arbitron radio information, but quotes “Arbitron information” in an ad campaign with webcaster Pandora.
Nielsen has the brand strength and credibility to conduct an in-depth study of radio’s viability as an industry. Radio needs to invest in proving its ability to drive business, as other media have done, so firm metrics can be provided to advertisers. This is an excellent opportunity for Nielsen to help radio get to the next level.
The $1.26 billion deal expands Nielsen into radio measurement. CEO David Calhoun: “The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities.”
At a time when networks are starting to ramp up campaigns for new fall shows, Arbitron is launching a measurement tool looking to link ad exposure with tune-in.
Arbitron is working to become a leading option in cross-media measurement through a recent trial it conducted with the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) and other efforts. It wants to “make sure we have a seat at the table once the money starts to flow in a significant way.”
Results from a TV-radio station test indicate that jointly selling radio and TV advertising together in simultaneous campaigns can increase audience reach — and deliver near primetime viewership levels — all with the help of a single-source measuring system.
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement — a consortium of media and advertising companies that includes AT&T, Microsoft, News Corp., Time Warner and Comcast, among others — said it will conduct two pilot tests with Arbitron and ComScore aimed at monitoring the behavior of so-called three-screen users who watch video with a bevy of different devices.
The company has tracked viewing in bars and other venues for NBC’s Olympics coverage and Turner’s high-profile sports events. Now, it wants to move into other areas, such as regular viewing of afternoon talk shows at work. Arbitron wants to ramp up its business measuring out-of-home TV viewing in order to retain clients for the long term, rather than just specific projects.