Arbitron Radio Advisory Council members received an update from Arbitron this week on several audience measurement issues, most notable Project Leapfrog and the effort to measure streaming alongside broadcast radio.
“We know there’s Internet listening we’re not getting credit for,” says new RAC Chair Craig Jacobus, president of South Central Media. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said the RAC has impressed on Arbitron “the need to move quickly” on integrated measurement.
Arbitron does have a pilot test in the field with Arbitron getting Portable People Meter data from the Internet streams of some broadcast stations, according to Arbitron SVP Marketing Bill Rose. The audience research firm plans to have market-by-market audience estimates issued twice a year for streaming listening alongside broadcast listening, he said.
The project involves streams of AM and FM stations now. Eventually it would include FM listening to either streams or broadcast audio on cellphones.
Emmis hopes to have its network of FM stations ready to go this summer with its NextRadio app implementation so those station signals or streams could be heard using a smartphone app on some Sprint cellphones. Rose said theoretically, if the content is encoded, the PPM should be able to detect that listening, too.
The RAC heard about the third pilot for Project Leapfrog, the effort to modernize the diary methodology, moving to an online data collection process. Previous trials were in English. The new version, in the field in the last quarter of 2012 and first quarter of this year, included Spanish-language materials. Arbitron wanted to improve the number of people in the home participating in the survey, among other things, and hopes to release more information about the R&D project within 60 days, said Rose.
Jacobus says the RAC is pleased with the “Leapfrog” progress, though the group would like to see the company move a little faster.