Ando Media – apologies, but no mea culpas.
Patrick Reynolds of the online measurement service tells yesterday’s hastily-called webinar “if we’ve created confusion” by adding new metrics such as “Session Starts” – “I apologize. That wasn’t our intention.” But he’s not saying they screwed up with the new-look online ratings that were issued last Friday. He’s dealing with some upset “publishers” of content and clients, including TargetSpot. That large ad-placement company came on board with Ando in April. But it asked not to be included in last Friday’s release of data from May through September. (At least that’s the clear inference from Reynolds’ answer during the Q&A – “The customer has to give permission” for their data to be included.) I told you in yesterday’s T-R-I that Triton-owned Ando Media was moving swiftly to address the gripes, and Reynolds says overall, the feedback’s been more positive than negative. Give him credit for going solo and live during a 45-minute webinar during which he addressed some pretty tough questions. He even gave out his cell phone number, and says Ando will begin holding regular conference calls and will keep talking with customers, whether at a “brown-bag lunch” with an agency or on a webinar. So what’s all the fuss about?
Senior VP Patrick Reynolds says the traditional-looking Average Quarter Hour (AQH) and cume figures “still exist” – but “we’re adding some new metrics that we think are more meaningful in a digital world.” Such as “Session Starts” (defined as “the number of streams of one minute or more that are started in a time period”). “Average Active Sessions.” And “ATSL”, or Average Time Spent Listening. Those are the metrics that Ando Media used for its controversial May-September numbers (see them here.) And they’re the categories it intends to continue highlighting with the upcoming October Webcast Metrics and beyond, because – Online radio is feeling its adolescence and starting to break away from the terrestrial radio way of thinking about its consumption and its measurement. That’s really the underlying story with Ando – there’s a new paradigm for the growing universe of online radio. (Ando’s Patrick Reynolds says that some 8,000 streams are part of his world.) Traditional AM/FM radio and this newer digital offshoot are different in a lot of ways, and that’s what Reynolds keeps coming back to. Ando’s measuring the listening using what researchers call a “census-based” methodology as opposed to “panel-based.” Ando is getting actual usage data from its customers. There are bugs to be worked out (somebody muting a stream at work or leaving the computer unattended). But Reynolds says the census-based approach provides “objective measurement, no sampling errors, no audience bias, real time measurement.” They don’t yet know a lot about individual listeners, compared to a diary keeper. They don’t have a complete handle on “uniques”, since more than one person might be using the same computer or mobile device. But that’s coming. So is ethnic-identified measurement. And station-specific ratings (“very, very soon”). So Ando’s forging ahead, despite the pushback, because they think it’s where online radio needs to go.