May 21, 2008

    Over the past couple of days the Hispanic radio industry was convened at the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio conference in Miami. The conference was not eventful and not well attended when compared to other Hispanic Conferences.

But, the important issue to all in the industry was being played out in the corridors of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables between the men’s room and the coffee shop in the lower lobby away from the conference.

Arbitron is planning on rolling out the Personal People Meter (PPM) into many markets where Hispanic Radio enjoys significant radio billing. Millions of dollars of national, regional and local dollars are at stake should the Arbitron ratings reflect a different reality enjoyed today by the Hispanic Radio broadcaster. The new measurement system of the PPM vs. the older system that was based on the hand written diary program, seems to offer potentially a new reality.

The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agency was so concerned that they have launch a committee to analyze and offers potential solutions to the industry and players involved. We hope that the players on this committee just don’t roll over and accept the offerings only because there seems to be not to be an alternative ratings measurement solution.

They better take the issue to task.

The African American broadcasters are also looking at the PPM and its impact on their Industry very closely.

The broadcasters feel that the system and the solution only offer loss of ratings, thus revenue. The mainstream ad industry is calling for Arbitron not to roll out the PPM, without receiving accreditation for the validity of the system and the results.

Where could we be in the future?

A couple of thoughts.

A collective legal action against Arbitron by the broadcasters concerned for presenting a ratings system that could technically paralyze the Hispanic Radio Industry as we know it today. We mean completely with potential companies not able to financially take a loss in revenue at the levels being contemplated by some.

A Hispanic Industry (agency/media) coalition to not use Arbitron as the preferred ratings system in the Hispanic Radio buying/selling environment.

A challenge to a so called ratings measurement monopoly in our industry.

Potential DOJ, FCC or the political intervention to analyze the impact this might have on our Industry.

This is not the time for those of you that might shoot out and say this is progress, you must embrace change and it is the only way to grow.

Take care of your industries, without them you don’t have a job.

Maybe this is a time I wished that Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were Hispanic!

Gene Bryan

CEO

HispanicAd.com

Comments

Gene I concur with your forecast I also saw this looming when it first made the industry news. Having worked in radio as you have, you know how fragile stations are when there is rating changes. I have seen jobs lost overnight due to changes in one book. The independent station owners will not be affected as much as the networks that depend on general market advertising revenue. In this market chaos lie opportunities for online portals to mimic the reach of radio to unique visitors. If memory serves me right I think I called you the Al Sharpton of Hispanic advertising.

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