Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Can't Top Bob Michaels

.. for his experience and expertise as an independent handicapper of the race just starting between Nielsen/Cumulus, Arbitron and Eastlan, but the most interesting development to me that I'll be anxious to see more about: data emerging as Nielsen recruits by address, not telephone.

If this works, it won't be too long before ARB and BBM in Canada do it too, I'll bet.

Inside Radio's Frank Saxe talked yesterday to Cumulus COO John Dickey, who claims that it will enlist a larger number of panelists than Arbitron has used in condensed markets. “That’s going to reduce the ridiculous bounces and very high margin of errors which led to a lack of confidence in buying our medium. That alone is going to go along way to introducing a high level of credibility in our medium.”

By recruiting diarykeepers by address, not the telephone, he estimates Nielsen will enlarge the potential sample by up to 40% to include cell phone-only households and people with unlisted numbers. They’ve also committed to oversampling hard-to-reach demos like 18-34.

As with all surveys, there are a lot of moving parts, but it seems to me that this one, especially, will be an important metric to track very carefully and hopefully.

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