“There is no bigger issue facing radio broadcasters than the credibility of its measurement.”
So says consultant and blogger Fred Jacobs, the latest to weigh in on the Voltair/PPM controversy.
He opines that every ratings methodology is flawed — “Whether it’s exit polling or radio ratings, there is no perfect research. And PPM, like its predecessor methodologies, has its share of built-in imperfections. And in fact, most people in radio are willing to accept that reality” — but he says the current situation involves an “erosion of trust” that is damaging.
“The final story and the true impact of this conundrum won’t be written in the rack room or on ratings spreadsheets. The true extent of the damage may be quietly whispered in ad agencies by buyers, planners and account managers who are reading the vitriol, finger-pointing, and rampant speculation that is so common in radio whenever Arbitron, and now Nielsen, are discussed.”
Jacobs was an innovator in the classic rock format and is founder of consultancy Jacobs Media and apps supplier JacApps.