Looking to grow its business beyond its core radio ratings services, Arbitron announced late Wednesday (Sept. 30) the formation of a cross-platform media measurement group.
The new unit will leverage Arbitron’s portable people meter technology to measure audiences across all media, including TV, radio, Internet, mobile, and place-based media.
To head up the unit, Arbitron promoted Pierre Bouvard to executive vp of cross-platform services, from executive vp of sales. In addition to Bouvard’s appointment, Carol Hanley was promoted to senior vp and chief sales officer, from senior vp of U.S. media. Both report to Michael Skarzynski, CEO of Arbitron.
Bouvard’s first goal will be to develop a cross-platform strategy for Arbitron and then develop and market new services.
In the past, Arbitron has relied on partnerships with Nielsen and other research firms to leverage its portable people meter in technology. The company’s most recent venture was Project Apollo, an expensive joint venture with Nielsen (parent company of Mediaweek), which folded earlier this year. Outside the U.S., Arbitron has licensed its technology to other research firms, such as in Canada, where the PPM is used by TNS to measure both radio and TV audiences.
“By establishing this group, we believe that we can more effectively operate at the speed and scale required to succeed in this dynamic media marketplace,” said Skarzynski.
Whether Arbitron intends to take on Nielsen, which has encroached on Arbitron’s business in 51 smaller radio markets, remains to be seen. Arbitron has commercialized the PPM in 20 top markets and could measure local TV stations, if those stations encoded their signals.
In June, Arbitron launched ARB-TV to measure out-of-home TV viewing in local markets, a service that Nielsen abandoned after a brief effort. So far, ARB-TV has not announced any clients.