Nielsen buys radio ratings

Nielsen is acquiring Arbitron, the leading radio measurement firm, in a $1.3 billlion cash deal. The company said a combined Nielsen-Arbitron would provide a richer picture of the five hours of television programming people on average watch a day, the two hours of radio they listen to, the websites they visit and the products they buy. That would allow media companies and marketers to better understand how advertising across media types influences people’s purchases.

“This advances all the long-term objectives of our company because we capture more of the consumers’ time,” said David Calhoun, chief executive of Nielsen. “We have a broader measurement of what is rapidly changing consumer behaviour. The ROI point of view is what all of our clients want. They spend money to advertise. They spend money to advertise across mediums.”

Combined, Nielsen and Arbitron generated total revenues of $6 billion and adjusted earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $1.7 billion in the 12 months ended September 30th. Nielsen expects cost savings of at least $20 million.

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