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Nielsen Looks to Link Listening, Purchase Behavior

These plans are still developing

“We’re trying to get the basics right,” says Farshad Family, senior vice president of Local Media and Product Leadership for Nielsen.

It’s been about 75 days since Nielsen acquired Arbitron, and radio station personnel are asking him what’s going on, he told attendees of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference and Jacobs Media Summit in Baltimore today.

Noting that the company has rebranded the former Arbitron to “Nielsen Audio,” now that the companies are under one roof decisions need to be made to help Nielsen Audio grow, he said.

Nielsen has identified three priorities, Family said. The company wants to improve the core measurement service “so that you can make a better case to advertisers to spend money with you.”

The company plans to increase the PPM sample size about 6%, we’ve reported. It’s also is looking at oversampling to get more ethnicities into the sample, however no final decision has been made about that, said Family.

We’ve reported the company is also working on automatic alerts for their PPM encoder so a station is alerted if the encoder goes offline.

The company will work on all three initiatives in 2014.

Giving attendees a deeper glimpse into the future than has been shared so far, Family said Nielsen is looking at census-based measurement, and linking listening data with purchase data. “We’re building case studies so radio can make the case beyond age and gender,” said Family. It’s looking at various characteristics, like examining how radio delivers Toyota dealers during PM drive, for example.

Several of the planned improvements also apply to diary markets.

Asked how Nielsen intends to incorporate digital listening from streamers like Pandora, Spotify or Rdio, Family said, “We want to measure” all of those, “but we don’t know the appropriate metrics for all of that yet.”

Arbitron had been working on an electronic diary. Asked what Nielsen plans to do with that, Family said the company wants to continue to invest in the eDiary, and plans to phase that in over time, beginning with the spring 2014 measurement period.

Nielsen will continue to work with Scarborough for qualitative information.