Almost two years ago, Nielsen introduced something called the “Headphone Adjustment Factor” in an effort to better track listeners through headphones and earbuds in their PPM system.
The program hasn’t been as successful as the company had hoped, with a number of complaints that the meters weren’t adequately measuring the correct number of listeners. Nielsen has heard these complaints and has addressed the issue by adjusting upward quarter-hour estimates for encoded station streams to compensate for any listening experience that wasn’t captured by the meters. Nielsen will roll out this new update beginning with a PPM survey this month.
Nielsen’s latest adjustment comes during a time where more and more people are not just cutting the cord on their televisions, but also on their headphones. People are significantly listening to radio streams via wireless earbuds vs. traditional wired headphones.
Nielsen’s first adjustment was made in October of 2020 which was based on data from a survey of 5,000 former PPM panelists. The folks on the panel also submitted a one-day journal of their listening behavior which lead to the creation of “lift factors.” With the adjustment in October, stations noticed a 4% month-to-month in Average Hour Persons Using Measured Media (PUMM), the metric Nielsen uses to track listeners.
Another important statistic to note is the percentage of listeners to radio streams online. According to InsideRadio, the number of AM/FM radio listening 12+ that happens via online streaming currently stands at 11%, (according to Nielsen). It has since jumped up to 12% in January. In the all-important Persons 25-54 demo, the number is 12%, down from 13% in January.
“It was fairly consistent in 2021, ending the year around 11% (P12+) with seasonal expected changes,” Nielsen Audio VP of Audience Insights Jon Miller tells Inside Radio. “One factor in the January jump may have been holiday technology season and more opportunity to stream audio starting the year.”
In the short term, Nielsen will continue to rely on their headphone method but they will eventually scrape it in favor of its new ‘Nielsen One cross-media’ measurement service.
“Our plans with Nielsen One for audio are to use big data as a supplement to our panel data,” Rose explained to clients during a recent webinar about the new wearable meters. “And when we get that big data, the chances are that will become the source of listening for digital. And the need for using the adjustment factor will go away. But for at least the near-term, the headphone factor will be the method in which we adjust the audience estimates to account for that.”
Jasper Jones writes sports media news stories for BSM. He is also a sports content producer for Audacy’s sports team. You can find him on Twitter @JonesJ2342 or email him at Jasper.Jones@Audacy.com.
Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM
An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.
WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.
The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.
Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.
Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.
Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.
In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.
Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.
WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.
Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5
Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.
Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.
Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.
She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”
Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.
“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5. “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable. He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”
Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio? That it’s interactive. Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent. And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”
Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video
“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”
The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.
“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.
“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.
During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.
Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.
Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.