While the radio industry awaits a Nielsen approach to accurately measure radio's digital listening, Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews says he already has the numbers he needs to compare against terrestrial radio. At this point, it's hard to get an answer from either Nielsen or the radio-industry side as to whether, at some point in time, Nielsen will measure both Pandora's listening and all of radio's listeners -- digital and over-the-air -- so a buyer or advertiser can put those numbers side-by-side, in an easy-to-understand format, compare, and make a decision. Nielsen Audio does not currently measure Pandora; it's measured by Triton's Webcast Metrics.
With the amount of money radio pays Nielsen, the industry appears to be reluctant to have Pandora "in the book." But McAndrews says, "Nielsen's clients should want [Nielsen] to be in this space as it becomes more and more critical." Even so, he says that with Triton, he has everything he needs right now for Pandora to be compared to terrestrial radio.
"Our feeling now," he says, "is the way that we're set up with Triton and their MRC accreditation in local markets, it's far better and deeper than what Nielsen has at this point. Nielsen would be nice to have for us, but it's certainly not a must-have. And unless Nielsen does make a decision to go apples-to-apples for us, it makes more sense for us to go with players where we're providing the most value to the buyer so they can actually compare us apples-to-apples with terrestrial radio. And that's what Triton does. And now, with Edison and ComScore, people are having more and more ways to measure us, which is only a positive."
And if you've been keeping score at home: Pandora now says it has 8.9% of total U.S radio listening.
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