We haven’t heard much public discussion about the audio watermarking debate in recent months, but with the NAB Show coming up that might be about to change.
The Telos Alliance put out a media statement late Thursday saying its Voltair product “still provides broadcasters with a significant ratings advantage, even on enhanced CBET.” Telos is parent of 25-Seven, which makes the Voltair watermark monitor and processor.
“Nielsen launched eCBET in late 2015 in response to the disruptive Voltair, which broadcasters were using to optimize their transmission of watermarks,” Telos wrote in its statement. “eCBET was supposed to address some of the encoding issues with CBET technology that the Voltair unit brought to light.”
Saying it has done research in the lab and field over several months, Telos “has come to the conclusion that Voltair is still very useful for broadcasters who want to make sure they are getting credit for every listener using a Portable People Meter,” the company wrote.
“Broadcasters using Voltair have reported that it still provides a significant ratings advantage, even with eCBET. The proof is in toggle-testing, where a station can easily vary Voltair’s enhancement level for each quarter hour, then track the ratings results for the quarter-hours with and without Voltair enhancement.”
The manufacturer listed two examples. It said an FM talk/music station in a top-10 market found that the quarter-hours with Voltair set to 12 were 7.8% higher than the quarter-hours without Voltair; and an AM news/talk station in a top-25 market experienced a 10.3% increase in the quarter-hours with Voltair set to 12 than the quarter-hours without Voltair.
Radio World reached out to Nielsen for comment and will report any reply. Last July, Matt O’Grady, Nielsen Audio executive vice president of local media client solutions, told Radio World that planned enhancements to the company’s PPM-based system would soon “negate the need” for the Voltair processor.