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Nielsen Launches Digital Audio Ratings to Quantify Broadcast Radio’s Online Consumption

3 minute read | March 2016

Part of Total Audience, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings to Capture Consumer Engagement Over-the-Air and Digital Platforms

New York – March 17, 2016 – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced the launch of Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings, the new solution to measure over-the-air radio listening, across mobile apps and web players, regardless of ad model and device—smartphones, tablets and computers. The service will provide the industry with the ability to assess the value of digital inventory and clarify return on digital investments, while aligning with established broadcast and digital currencies. Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings is a component of Nielsen’s Total Audience, an initiative that provides comparable metrics across all linear and digital platforms.

The Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings service, which is currently collecting data on more than 2,500 station streams across all 48 personal people meter (PPM) markets, measures the extension of broadcast radio to streaming environments. Initially, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings will report the listening of digital streams of AM/FM radio stations and e-radio stations in the 48 PPM markets. Measurement for custom-curated and on-demand audio, including podcasts, is currently in development.

“With the way people consume content in a continual state of change, it’s critical to capture all of the platforms where people are listening to audio, whether on the radio, computers or smartphones,” said Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio. “To achieve Total Audience for audio, we must provide a comprehensive view of listening behavior across all platforms and what better way to start than with radio. Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings allows broadcasters, advertisers and marketers to better understand the dynamics of a station’s over-the-air and online audiences.”

Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings employs Nielsen’s proprietary software development kit (SDK), which is integrated into mobile apps and web players. This method uses big data, a census-style measurement approach and demographic information from third-party data providers, which is calibrated with Nielsen’s PPM panel.

The product combines digital audio measurement with clear, industry-standard methodology, allowing clients to measure the total reach of radio listening. Additionally, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings gives radio stations the insight buyers and marketers need to quantify the size and nature of a station’s online audience on smartphones, tablets and computers. The result is a seamless audio measurement that allows broadcasters and marketers to easily plan, buy and sell all audio content.

The service will formalize a two-month pre-currency preview period covering data from the February and March 2016 surveys, available in mid-March and mid-April, respectively. Beginning with the April 2016 survey data, released in mid-May, clients must license Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings to access data related to their own media properties and the data of other subscribers.

Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings audience estimates will include both an average quarter hour (AQH) and average minute audience (AMA) metric for digital streams. In the near future, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings will expand reporting to include diary markets, as well as regional and national views.

“Radio is a crucial format to reach audiences and must be an integral part of Nielsen’s Total Audience initiative,” said Kelly. “With Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings we will be able to capture broadcast radio’s total reach and begin laying the groundwork to measure other audio platforms where people listen to music, syndicated programs or news/talk and sports content.”

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Gorki De Los Santos; 646-654-4837;