An industry friend called me the other day and asked, "Why are you so against the Arbitron Total Audience Measurement plan? For what it's worth," he said, "I think we'd all just like to see you guys play nice with each other."
It became clear to me at that moment that I have not been specific enough about Triton's position on this. I hope to be now.
Triton does not believe there is anything inherently wrong with enabling a radio sales staff with the opportunity to make a combined sale of on-air with online. There will no doubt be certain advertisers that will welcome this approach. However, the online opportunity demands that you also be enabled to sell online-only and activate a variety of sales channels to sell into your inventory. I suspect most all radio groups are utilizing online ad networks to backfill their display inventory and this is really no different. So my first clarification: you should have the flexibility of multiple channels of sales feeding your inventory to exert the most pressure on it.
Second, Triton's position has been and continues to be that we will feed your audience metrics wherever you want them fed. We've also told Arbitron as much. Let me be clear, if you want Arbitron to have information on your streaming audience we will feed it to them for you. We feel that this structure will make it very simple to combine or separate listenership to optimize your opportunity.
Third, Webcast Metrics is not a profit center for Triton. Look at your most current statement and ask yourself if you feel our prices are unfair. The fact is, our prices are less than 1% of what you are likely paying Arbitron today. Our clients are also holding a Webcast Metrics agreement that allows you to know, with certainty, what you will pay even as your audience grows by leaps and bounds. I challenge you to look at your contract and dream your wildest dream about how big your audience will grow online and see what the math says you pay. In fact, dream big! Pretend your online audience is the same as your present day over the air estimate. Now do the math again and see what you'd be paying us. I guarantee whatever math you just did is less than 5% of what you pay Arbitron.
Radio pays Arbitron over $400 Million a year and Triton less than 1% of that total. At the existing Triton rate card, which allows you to auto renew, radio would pay a total of about $25 Million for the same audience as they pay Arbitron $400+ Million for.
As radio looks ahead and continues to seek out efficiency in running the business, measurement should be a place to find it. Technology is making measurement more efficient across all media, why should radio be different? Today radio pays about 2.5% of its revenue back to Arbitron. It's Triton's position that this is beyond reason. It's also our position that radio has been provided an affordable, efficient, accurate, accredited and sustainable solution from Triton for literally less than a penny on today's Arbitron dollar.
Activating all sales channels to sell inventory is the way of the digital world. Nothing in Triton's proposition prevents you from up-selling the on-air advertiser to digital. You can do it all day long if it's the best way to drive revenue. Triton's position is simply to not limit your self to only this option. As the online market evolves and the mobile opportunity materializes, you'll want to be able to work all sides.
Triton has made measurement flexible and efficient so that you can invest in content and fight the battle for online audience and revenue aggressively.
I hope this makes it clear.