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CBS Will Participate in Nielsen Cross-Measurement Trial

Radio is part of the pilot project

A big goal in the media ratings business is to develop better ways to measure the effectiveness of “cross-media” campaigns. Now comes word that CBS, which has major station holdings in both media, will take part in Nielsen’s first trial to measure such campaigns on local TV and radio.

The first results should be known around March.

The companies said this trial will combine CBS local TV audience data with CBS Radio audience data “to build a foundation that measures unduplicated reach and time spent across both media.” This is a new capability for Nielsen since the firm’s acquisition of Arbitron, now called Nielsen Audio.

“In addition, the trial will measure reach and frequency for campaigns that run on both local TV and radio,” they stated in an announcement. “The test results will expand local media planning analytics and develop more robust inputs for marketing mix modeling.” Nielsen said it eventually hopes to attract more clients to the pilot program.

The test will combine results from Nielsen’s Local People Meter panel with data from the PPM panel that Nielsen got with Arbitron.

The companies said CBS wants to help media planners maximize their reach. It wants to explore issues involved with day-to-day and week-to-week reach and distribution. And they want to dig further into the concept of “recency,” the idea that ads are most effective right before the time a buying decision is made.

CBS Corp. Chief Research Officer David F. Poltrack was quoted in the statement: “In today’s multi-platform advertising environment, it is not enough to set full campaign reach and frequency targets. The advertiser must distribute the exposure to their message over time — and in a manner that assures that each potential purchaser is exposed to that message in a consistent manner before each purchase occasion.”

He made the announcement with Lynda Clarizio, president of U.S. media at Nielsen; they said other broadcasters should benefit from the research too.

The companies also noted that they worked together this year on a two-week technical trial that involved measuring viewing of TV content on mobile devices using Syncbak technology.