I don’t know how I missed this one ! (See below) Now they own radio ratings! The monopoly deal that controls ALL our lives – and not just those of us who work in TV but, you, too, indirectly.
You know monopolies — even approved ones — are bad for the consumer. They provide an opportunity to abuse control of the market. We hope people are honest and fair but how do we know? In the case of a monopoly, very little information is known — unless a whistleblower emerges and tells us.
Nielsen is a hugely profitable company/monopoly. They also – because of their monopoly – indirectly control the TV business (news and entertainment) since their numbers, correct or not, control how much ads cost to the advertiser which means how much revenue to the network. That control translates into power.
Are Nielsen ratings numbers perfect? Nope. For starters, their samplings are very small. They don’t measure every home in the entire country but do very small samplings and then multiply those numbers out. So..to the extent their sampling are off or skewed or small so are their end numbers for ratings, whether it be entertainment or news. And so why aren’t the samplings bigger? Well…for starters, because they have no competition so why should they bother?
I suspect Nielsen won’t get Congressional oversight because what network would push for it since I assume there could be fear of retaliation (skewed numbers) by Nielsen! My guess is that networks are also reluctant to dig too deep themselves into how Nielsen works since you never know what you will find…it might be that the networks are getting the big end of the stick and not the little. Which network would want to get Nielsen mad at them? right? All I know is that it is a monopoly and monopolies escape much of our scrutiny and without competition, they set the rules.
When I read this article below it also occurred to me that there is a GIANT opportunity for someone to get rich — just come up with a ‘better mousetrap’ to challenge Nielsen. So get on your thinking cap! If you can figure out a way to measure audience numbers (perhaps via the internet where the expense would be minimal to you) you would take a big chunk out of the Nielsen profit. When you come up with a really good idea that is threatening financially to a monopoly, you can bet that someone, most likely the monopoly itself, will call and talk about buying you out!
Finally….if you work for Nielsen, or have worked for them, I would love to talk to you. I am curious what goes on in this monopoly that controls so much of American entertainment and news!
Nielsen to Buy Arbitron in $1.26 Billion Deal
Combination Extends Nielsen’s Ratings Monopoly to U.S. Radio
Published: December 18, 2012
Nielsen announced plans to buy Arbitron for $1.26 billion Tuesday morning, extending the company’s monopoly reach on TV ratings in the U.S. to radio as well.
Nielsen, already by far the largest research company in the world, will add the No. 9 player in the 2012 Honomichl 25 rankings of research companies, creating a company with a combined revenue of around $6 billion — nearly double the $3.3 billion 2011 sales of No. 2 research player, WPP’s Kantar.
Arbitron had research revenue of $422 million last year, fetching a 26% premium to its closing share price and a handsome multiple of around three times sales. While Nielsen gets 53% of its revenue outside the U.S., almost all of Arbitron’s revenue comes inside the U.S.
The deal CLICK HERE