NEW YORK Clear Channel Communications Inc.
radio division is signing a multi-year deal to use Arbitron
Inc.'s new technology to track listener habits in its top 50
markets, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The terms of the deal between the top radio conglomerate
and the dominant radio tracking company were not immediately
Arbitron's portable people meter technology detects
inaudible signals embedded in radio and television broadcasts
to measure a listener's exposure to media and is designed to
replace paper diaries. Such data is used as the basis for
setting advertising rates on radio shows.
Clear Channel's step marks a key endorsement for the
service. A coalition of broadcasters, including Clear Channel,
had criticized the technology for its cost and sought
Arbitron's new technology costs radio companies from 40
percent to 65 percent more than standard written diaries.
The source said Clear Channel would continue to evaluate
new measurement methods.
Television ratings service Nielsen Media Research had held
talks with radio companies to consider tracking listening
But Nielsen, which invested millions of dollars of research
to determine the viability of the new technology said last year
it would not deploy Arbitron's devices, citing costs and other
Clear Channel declined comment. A representative for
Arbitron also declined comment.