ESPN/Arbitron Look To Turn Up Radio Volume

Sean-Creamer

ESPN and Arbitron plan to work together to build more interest in the radio medium, which Arbitron COO Sean Creamer referred to as a “consciousness raising” effort Wednesday. “It’s in our interest and in radio’s interest for us to validate the medium on par with television, Internet, smartphones and tablets in a highly visible cross-platform effort,” he said on an investor call.

Often forgotten amid its bevy of properties, ESPN runs a national radio network and owns several large-market stations, while radio measurement remains Arbitron’s principal business.

Arbitron and comScore are working with ESPN on a cross-platform measurement project to develop a way to track consumption across four screens plus radio. 

“This will be the first time that radio is being placed on equal footing with television, Internet and mobile in such a significant cross-platform initiative,” Creamer said. “This project underscores radio’s importance and relevance in a cross-platform world.”

As measurement companies scramble to take a leadership role in the hunger for cross-platform metrics, Arbitron believes it may have an advantage with its ability to provide radio metrics.

“Our goal is to develop a template for a new cross-platform measurement methodology that will integrate PC, mobile and television set-top-box, census-level measurement with the personal, single-source measurement capabilities of our PPM (portable people meter) technology,” Creamer said.

In the third quarter, Arbitron announced that revenues were up 8.3% to $114.3 million, which helped as cost increases for the PPMs continued to be put in place. Net income rose 2.8% to $15.8 million.

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