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20% Of Persons 12+ In Lexington KY Use Only Cell Phones, Nielsen Finds During Pilot For Radio Measurement Service


Increased Representation in Radio Sample Includes Hard-to-Reach Younger Audiences Who Listen Longer to More Stations

NEW YORK, NY – More than 20% of people over age 12 in the Lexington, KY market use cell phones as their sole form of telecommunications and listen to substantially more radio than homes with landlines, The Nielsen Company found in a pilot study of radio use in Lexington, KY. Using Address Based Sampling for sample recruiting Nielsen was able to identify and gain cooperation of these listeners to form a single sample that for the first time truly represents the full market.

Nielsen found that cell-phone-only homes logged nearly 23 hours of radio listening per week compared to just over 19 hours for the total sample. In addition, this group:

* Listens to 3.5 radio stations compared to less than 3 stations among the total sample
* Has an average quarter hour total radio rating of 17.3% versus 14.3% rating for the total sample
* Skews younger, primarily between the ages of 18 and 34

The Lexington pilot was conducted in advance of Nielsen introducing radio measurement in 51 local markets. To recruit sample radio households, The Nielsen Company uses address-based sampling (ABS), which it pioneered in its domestic television measurement in order to reach the estimated additional 34% of US households, including cell-phone only and many unlisted landline phone households, which are not covered by current landline telephone number sampling methods.

Other highlights of the pilot program found that:

* Nielsen’s address-based sampling approach delivers a more representative sample than other recruitment systems, delivering 30% more of the potential radio universe than anything else available today
* Nielsen’s “sticker diary,” which uses pre-printed labels, works as well in the U.S. as it does in international markets

In the Lexington market, Nielsen found that radio reaches:

* 93% of the market’s population of people over the age of 12
* 90% of the population that does not read newspapers
* 96% of light or non-broadcast television viewers
* 96% of those who go to the movies

“This study underscores the value of radio in reaching a local audience, particularly those increasingly elusive, mobile young adults,” said Lorraine Hadfield, Nielsen’s Managing Director for Global Radio Audience Measurement. “The methods employed here benefit from Nielsen’s experience in measuring both local television in the United States and radio globally and ensure improved representation. The Lexington pilot also proved that the “sticker diary” was easy to use and created no discernable bias.”

“The results of this study show clearly that radio has a vital role to play and that a new approach to measuring radio’s audience was required to fully represent the medium’s value,” said Lew Dickey, CEO of Cumulus. “The findings from the Nielsen pilot underscore the urgent need to include cell-phone-only homes in radio ratings.”

“Finally! An accurate picture of radio listening,” said John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio. “It’s no surprise to us that the most highly coveted demographic listens to 23 hours of radio per week – that’s a far cry from what we’ve been told for years by inaccurate ratings. The fact that more than 20% of radio listeners in the test market are cell-phone-only households underscores the value that Nielsen brings to us and every other radio broadcaster right out of the gate. We applaud Nielsen’s commitment to delivering accurate information immediately. Now we can get to the business of discussing radio’s true value with advertisers.”

The Lexington pilot, which was conducted over the first week of December 2008, included 588 people from 336 households. Nielsen’s first eight-week survey begins today in 51 small and medium-sized markets. Additional features of the service include:

o Large samples to reduce relative error and bounce.
o “Sticker diaries” - a proven and easy to use/easy to edit hat has improved the quality of radio measurement data around the world. In the Lexington pilot 35 stations were identified with stickers, but participants reported listening to an additional 35 stations with no station identification issues.
o A significant investment in over-sampling and differentiated incentives to improve response rates and representation of the typically hard-to-reach demographics.
o Robust, single-source qualitative measurement of lifestyle, consumer behavior, and purchase intent.
o Nielsen’s web-based Radio Advisor software platform, which will include responsible limits on the granularity of analysis and relative errors that can be used in proposals and analyses.

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit,


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