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Nielsen Drops U.S. Radio Measurement

Company used ‘sticker’ diary

Strike another Arbitron competitor off the list.

The Nielsen Company says it’s ending its radio audience measurement in the United States, as of the fall 2010 period.

In November 2008, Nielsen — known widely for television audience measurement — and Cumulus Media announced that Nielsen would provide audience measurement and radio ratings in 50 small- and mid-sized U.S. markets. The companies also announced that Clear Channel Radio would subscribe to the diary service in 17 markets. Some broadcasters who felt that Arbitron has long commanded too much influence in the ratings market welcomed the news then.

Nielsen, which used a “sticker” diary, said it would not comment beyond its brief statement. It said its clients will still have access to historical data and limited access to the company’s Radio Advisor software. It said the decision to drop its American radio diary ratings service would not affect its overseas radio measurement; it will continue those operations in the 11 countries it now serves.

The Nielsen move comes after Clear Channel Radio re-signed with Arbitron for both electronic and diary ratings in a six-year deal. Clear Channel is Arbitron’s biggest client.