Several major radio companies – iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Entercom, Cox and Sun Broadcast Group – said Thursday that they were collaborating with audio-recognition app Shazam to create an “audio audience measurement solution” that “will deliver market- and station-level audience metrics” across digital and terrestrial radio.
According to a release, the metric uses these companies’ propriety data to measure broadcast and digital audio. And it will use information from“specific geographic markets” and “tens of millions of devices” to produce “cross-platform audience metrics.”
“Our goal is to measure all of audio and radio consumption, whether it's delivered through a smartphone radio, a car radio, a clock radio or something else, because from a consumer point of view, it's one experience,” said Radha Subramanyam, iHeartMedia’s president of insights, research and data analytics. “So the aim is to have a solution across all of the ways in which radio is consumed.”
The measurement solution is not currently commercially available, and Subramanyam declined to speculate when or to whom the metric may be available in the future.
“We’ll have to see how it goes,” she said. “We’re very excited about what we’re seeing today. Our hope is that it will join the measurement landscape as yet another way to measure radio, to show the value of radio, to show the value we [radio companies] drive for advertisers.”
Shazam declined to comment for this story, and Subramanyam declined to comment on Shazam’s role. But she did note that Shazam’s “listening technology is core to the measurement of this service.”
“We have great technology from Shazam, we have other sources of data coming in [from the radio company partners],”she added, “and together, we hope to offer both measurement as well as deeper insights, ranging from describing audiences to attribution.”
All the companies currently working on the measurement solution were mentioned in the release, Subramanyam confirmed. When asked if Spotify or Pandora have expressed interest in the metric, she replied, “No, but I don’t even know if this would make sense for them. This is about broadcast radio. It is about digital radio. It is not about music collections.”
Subramanyam said that they welcome any broadcaster who wants to join them and be a part of the measurement solution.
The idea behind the metric is to “have more companies measuring the sector to have more data to make us more competitive,” she said. The data that results from this cooperative effort can make the radio industry more competitive to not just traditional mediums such as television, but also to digital properties such as Facebook and Google, she said.
“The more we can innovate around measurement and data, the better we can demonstrate the value of the sector to the advertiser,” she said.
Subramanyam declined to comment on the new metric’s methodology, how it will function or how it differs from existing measurements, such as Nielsen Audio. In response to this collaborative measurement solution, Nielsen released a statement to radio trade pub Friday Morning Quarterback: “We welcome new approaches to the marketplace, and as the global leader in audience measurement, we remain laser-focused on delivering innovative and superior quality audited processes and methods to the radio industry. Nielsen has the only representative measurement of radio listening.”