Arbitron Inc. announced that it has purchased the RADAR(R) radio network audience measurement service of Statistical Research Inc. (SRI), Westfield, New Jersey, for $25 million, payable over two years.
RADAR (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) is a national radio ratings service that measures audiences to radio commercials aired on 29 radio networks operated by ABC, American Urban Radio Networks, Premiere and Westwood One. The service produces its estimates using a 12-month, 12,000-person telephone survey in combination with the industry-standard commercial clearance system.
"RADAR has established itself as the `gold standard' for network radio audience measurement services," said David Lapovsky, executive vice president, Worldwide Research, Arbitron Inc. "National advertisers are willing to pay a higher cost per rating point for commercials run on RADAR-rated networks in part because the audience estimates are based on the commercial clearance system that is an integral part of the service."
"Initially, we will maintain the RADAR service as it is today. At the same time, we will work with the networks, agencies and advertisers to enhance the RADAR service by taking advantage of Arbitron's enormous diary database," said Mr. Lapovsky
"I'm confident that Arbitron will maintain the exacting standards that RADAR has become known for over its 30 years of service to the network radio industry," said Gale Metzger, president, Statistical Research Inc. "Over the coming months, Gerry Glasser and I will be working closely with Arbitron to help them make this transition a smooth one for all of our clients."
Arbitron surveys more than 1.3 million radio listeners in more than 3,500 counties across the United States in the course of its local market radio ratings surveys in 286 markets throughout the year.
"We plan to use a subset of our local market diaries to dramatically increase the sample size for the RADAR network survey," said Mr. Lapovsky. "By combining our two services, Arbitron can provide the industry what would have been economically impractical for RADAR to provide on its own - network audience estimates of greater utility and flexibility."
Both the Arbitron Local Market Radio Ratings Service and the RADAR Radio Network Ratings service are accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC). Arbitron intends to maintain the MRC accreditation for the RADAR service throughout the transition from a telephone-based survey to a diary-based survey. In the short term, SRI will conduct telephone interviewing for the RADAR service under contract to Arbitron.
As part of the purchase agreement, a number of SRI employees who work on the RADAR service become Arbitron employees and will continue to work at RADAR's current offices in Westfield, New Jersey. Arbitron also obtains the processing software used to produce the network radio ratings database and the RADAR PC 2010 desktop application used by networks, agencies and advertisers to analyze the RADAR audience data. SRI has agreed to work with Arbitron to adapt the RADAR processing software to the Arbitron diary survey method.
Mr. Gale Metzger and Dr. Gerald Glasser, the two principals of SRI, will continue in their roles at SRI while working closely with Arbitron during the transition.