Radio ratings firm Arbitron announced that TAPSCAN, its Web-based sales proposal and analysis software system for radio, has received accreditation from the Media Rating Council. The TAPSCAN system for radio ad sales proposals and evaluation is currently used by more than 19,000 radio sales personnel.
According to Arbitron, reports created in TAPSCAN Web using MRC accredited data from Arbitron's 234 diary and 14 accredited Arbitron Portable People Meter markets can now carry the "double checkmark" symbol indicating that the system is accredited by the MRC.
However, sales proposals created with data from the 34 PPM markets which remain unaccredited will not get the MRC doublecheck for the time being.
The TAPSCAN accreditation is another step forward for radio as it moves increasingly to online sales management for both broadcast and online radio advertising.
Earlier this week, Arbitron unveiled a partnership with Media Monitors to create new interactive tools, offering users the latest radio ad campaign data from all markets covered by Arbitron's Portable People Meter.
The platform, called "Get a GRiP," allows Arbitron clients to see the frequency and reach of specific ad campaigns, which they can sort by advertiser, client, market, station, station genre, demographic target and schedule.
In January, Arbitron announced plans to integrate TAPSCAN with Proposal XML, one of the most widely used software platforms for media transactions in TV and Internet, to make the radio ad-buying process easier and less time-consuming. Arbitron plans to complete the software integration, which will allow buyers to buy local radio ad inventory seamlessly with other media, sometime in the second quarter.
Also in January, Arbitron integrated TAPSCAN with Marketron's Exchange, which handles media transactions, to create a fully automated, Web-based sales and traffic platform for radio advertising. The service covers all stages of the sales process from initial proposal through fulfillment, ratings information and invoicing.
There are other moves to simplify radio buying with online platforms.
This week, Marketron announced the launch of a new, integrated online platform for reporting, analyzing, planning and buying radio inventory alongside other media. The new Marketron platform, called MediaScape, offers users access to a suite of capabilities that already exist independently -- including its Exchange, revenue builder and mobile platform.
Marketron currently boasts over 7,000 radio station clients -- representing about half the 14,000 radio stations operating in the U.S.
In February, Drew Hilles, a founder of dMarc Broadcasting and then a senior executive with Google, and Rob Williams, who previously served as a senior manager for Clear Channel in New York City, launched TheMediaDash.com, a platform intended "to enhance and simplify the purchase and sale of radio advertising," according to Hilles. The goal is to make it as easy "to conduct a transaction as it is to buy Internet advertising online."