Radio Companies Still Having Trouble Figuring Out Who's Listening

from the is-anybody-out-there? dept

Radio stations, like other broadcasters, have been searching for some time for new ways to measure how many people are listening, rather than relying on the old Arbitron system of getting people to fill in diaries of what stations they’ved listened to. Arbitron’s been pushing its Personal People Meter, a device people would wear around that tracks whatever media they consume, for a few years. It’s not been met with a very great response from anybody, and the concept itself seems pretty problematic, for any number of reasons. But the PPM keeps hanging around, and although last month Nielsen said they wouldn’t use the devices, they’ve been annouced as one of three finalists in Clear Channel’s search for new tracking technology. The apparent leader, though, is a company that combines the PPM into a cell phone, which solves one problem — that the PPM is another device to carry around — but not others. What happens if somebody leaves their phone at home, or it’s in a pocket and can’t “hear” anything? Arbitron’s pointed out plenty of problems with the phone approach, but the biggest one is that they’ll simply replace the expense of giving people PPMs with the expense of giving them smartphones that can run the special media-tracking software. But given the way the broadcast industry’s reacted to more accurate tracking in the past, it’s almost as if they’re looking for a system that will tell them what they want to hear, not what’s actually going on.

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Comments on “Radio Companies Still Having Trouble Figuring Out Who's Listening”

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discojohnson says:

Re: Re: Re: Who's Listening?

pop items, eg. pop music, faddish clothing..all the pop culture tangibles. and i think it’s fair to say that most people reading techdirt aren’t spending their money on the same things as many of the americans that fit the demographic above. if it wasn’t true, then those items wouldn’t be making companies money hand over fist.

Dr. Musica says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Who's Listening?

Blink182 is commericial. They sell an image that record labels know will interest the general public. It’s so sad that so many people only hear about certain music throug the radio. Just the other night I over heard someone say something about “..well i liked the ‘original’ punk bands, like blink182 and sum41 and weezer” I almost vomited everywhere while laughing hysterically. I can’t stand ignorance brought on entirely by ones self. There are probably thousands of different ways you can find out about different types of music. and people that make statements like the one i quoted should open their eyes and realize they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

Professor HighBrow says:

Re: Who's Listening?



Tell ya what, you can implant a “media consumption” tracking device in my scalp for $2,000,000.

This way, you can intercept all the radio waves I’m exposed to and even anylize the sounds I lisen to through the use of a tiny microphone.

Maybe my credit rating could be on there too, so that I don’t have to swipe my card anymore, I can just walk through a special detector.

Why not just issue me a number as well… woops already did that…

Plus, wouldn’t it be great if your company could know where I am at all times?

Sound’s like wearing a house arrest ankle bracelet.

–Prof. HighBrow

Jobe (user link) says:

Part of the problem is that the radio isn’t playing anything good (how many times have you read about payola schemes), it’s always the same few songs, until there is a newly released song.

Doesn’t help that there hasn’t been much good music coming out also.

And don’t forget about all of them commercials on the radio, or the lack of locally owned radio stations. Most are now owned by corporations.

Anonymous Coward says:

the stupid Blink example

ignoring the fact that blink182 sucks….and assuming they WERE refering to a good band instead….

If the clearchannel stations didn’t play 1 song so many times you want to rip out your eardrums the next time you hear it, I might have bought a lot more music in the last few years. The music I buy is the music i don’t hear every time i turn the radio on whether i want to or not.

There are too many ways to find out about new (or just previously unknown to you) music that don’t involve being force-fed crap.

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