The smooth jazz radio format wasn’t as popular as thought. When Arbitron changed from paper diaries to portable people meters (PPM) about ten years ago, broadcasters learned that people didn’t do what the paper diaries said they did.
With good data from PPM devices, broadcasters learned that people flipped stations more than reported previously. The result was that the smooth jazz format was killed. What’s next?
As Bob Lefsetz said the other day, “Big band music died, why can’t rock?”
What happens if a PPM was invented for digital media? Would all the view-through attribution currently applied by our multi-touch attribution models go away? I think so. Maybe we’ll get to the bottom of the rampant fraud and B.S. in the digital ecosystem.
A kind of PPM already exists in the UK, with Lumen Research’s digital panel. I think a lot of the programmatic hype is nothing more than smooth jazz: hardly viewed for even a second and about as memorable.
You might think you’re buying rockstar impressions. You’re really getting Kenny G.
Takeaway: If your agency/platform/publisher pushes back on doing Lumen-style measurement, ask “cui bono?” And win.
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