Nielsen Execs Tout Measurement Expansion With Arbitron Acquisition

Nielsen CEO David Calhoun told investors the company plans to expand its coverage of consumer purchase behavior globally, as well as measure more ways that consumers spend time with media, with its planned $1.3 billion purchase of Arbitron.

Adding radio to its TV and online measurement will add two more hours — for a total of eight — for the average amount of time a U.S. consumer spends per day consuming media, according to Nielsen’s projected measurement platform.

The acquisition, “allows us to weave these two data sets together to demonstrate for the benefit of advertisers how effective radio is in a complicated and fragmented media market,” according to Calhoun, who added that most of that extra two hours is in-car listening, “in proximity to retail.”

Now that the FTC has signed off on the deal, integration plans are underway, Nielsen executives told Wall Street analysts. Last week, the FTC okayed the Arbitron acquisition so long as Nielsen agreed to make Arbitron PPM data available to comScore for an ESPN PPM cross-measurement platform-related project for up to eight years.

Nielsen projects $20 million in synergies from the acquisition. Its executives confirmed what had been rumored: that the Arbitron name and the name of all of its services would become “a Nielsen branded product.”

Executives expect the deal to close Sept. 30.


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