Nielsen Drops Radio Ratings

The Nielsen Company tried to take on ratings giant Arbitron in 2008 but, after a two-year experiment, announced it is dropping its radio service after its fall 2010 book.

Nielsen monitored 51 small- to medium-sized radio markets with Cumulus Media, which owns some 350 stations, as its main client.

Nielsen continued to use a diary format to track listeners’ radio habits in a field long dominated by Arbitron, which is moving away from diaries to its Portable People Meter system.

Nielsen gave no reason for the change, but the announcement comes one week after Clear Channel renewed its contract with Arbitron. The Nielsen BDS service, which tracks songs played on the radio, is not affected.