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Radio Advertising 101 Part II

Radio ratings are determined through the very inexact science that is ruled by the god of ratings – Arbitron. Arbitron wields immense powers in radio land, can make or break stations, careers and drive up or down spot prices by the power of their ratings. Since 1949, this research company has held a monopoly over the research that stations and advertisers must purchase in order to be rated. Until very recently, the research was conducted using a random sample of the population in each metro area, who after agreeing to participate, were sent a diary, one for each household member older than 12. Information about time spent listening to radio stations are filled out for a week and sent back to Arbitron.

Over the years there has been considerable criticism about the accuracy of data collected by Arbitron, namely stemming from the high percentage of the sample  not sending the diaries back (response rate is 30%) and from information that is provided not accurately representing actual listening.

Next time I’ll explain why.

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