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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Dave Rahn

Fred, what many broadcasters don't know is that this policy is in place NOW at Arbitron. Stations will not get credit for their 'main' AM or FM signal for entries specified as "internet". It's just that the old diary methodology doesn't have an "internet" checkbox so likely a lot of streaming credit still goes to the FM. That will all change with people meters and the new web based diary options (see http://www.arbitron.com/downloads/ediary2.jpg). And unless a stream qualifies for Arbitron's minimum AQH threshold, that listening won't get reported period.

The AFTRA situation is a sticky one as the power to solve that one lies with the primary purchasers of voice talent - namely the ad agencies. And they have little incentive to solve it on radio's behalf.

My suggestion? Radio should adopt a policy that ALL ads purchased on AM or FM broadcasts are included on internet streams unless they are specifically declined by the advertiser or agency. There is no credit or rebate on restricted ads. However, there is a charge for extra internet ads or internet-only ads.

Then work out with Arbitron that any station which adopts this policy should have their streams treated as "true simulcasts" for the purposes of ratings.

This would put the pressure back on the agencies to either pay the freight, cut a better deal with AFTRA, or miss out on a fast growing segment of radio listening - make it their choice rather than radio's burden.

My 2 cents...

Dave Rahn
SBR Creative Media

David Martin

Bravo Fred!

The first tribe of wireless lags behind both the dead tree guys and those FM with pictures folk when it comes to making serious investments online. Our counsel has remained the same for years: the minimum investment in online should equal the total investment in one's morning show. That's head count and dollars. 2007 is shaping up to be the year daily print continues to drive forward and TV stations take online totally "in-house" a radical departure from the previously acceptable (and less expensive) third-party network "plug and play with local news hole" solutions. My sense is as radio once played catch-up to TV in developing vendor dollars (early NTR in the 1980s), smart operators will see the inherent advantages and ROI in making prudent online investments. It's all about LOCAL and there's nothing but upside.

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