In a culmination of a rigorous two-year evaluation period, Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics Local ratings product has received accreditation from the Media Rating Council (MRC). The seal of approval sanctions Triton’s Average Quarter Hour (AQH) listenership metric, and its local Cume Rating. Webcast publishers which subscribe to the Webcast Metrics Local service, and intend to take advantage of its accredited ratings, must undergo separate audits of the geographic and demographic listener data that they supply to Triton, for their individual ratings to be sanctioned.
The accreditation is a milestone for Triton’s local ratings service. It is also an important moment for webcasters and local ad buyers. On the webcasting side, a service’s local ratings can now be placed alongside broadcast radio’s local listening data with confidence that they are comparable. Before today, advertisers seeking local exposure via webcasting did not have third-party verification that the radio-to-webcast comparative metrics represented an apples-to-apples comparison.
“It allows our customer base to compete heads-up, apples-to-apples against all forms of radio,” Patrick Reynolds, Chief Strategy Office of Triton Digital, told RAIN.
Triton’s Webcast Metrics Local service has been effectively used by Pandora and other webcasters to drive local ad sales, even before the accreditation, according to Reynolds. “It’s an exciting product that has been around for nearly two nears, since mid-2012. The accreditation process has taken this long.”
For John Rosso, Triton’s President of Market Development, the MRC accreditation is a relief to local media buyers. “Getting that accreditation overcomes a significant objection on the buy side,” Rosso told RAIN in New York, before today’s announcement. “Having that seal of approval, in the minds of buyers, means they don’t have to worry about the accuracy of the data. And their clients don’t have to worry either.”
Mike Agovino, Triton COO, sees the accreditation as facilitating the infrastructure of local ad-buying. “The demand side has said to us, ‘We want to invest, and we want to invest heavily. But in order to justify that investment, we need you to create an analog to the metrics used to plan [spending] on the broadcast side.'”
Agovino offered a real-world example: “Say I’m looking at data about the Chicago market. I’m choosing stations I want to buy. I’m building schedules on those stations. Now I can take these eight Chicago [stations] and I can include Pandora, Accuradio, some aggregation of broadcast and pureplays. Any webcaster who is a subscriber to the Webcast Metrics Local product can be included in this multi-platform media plan.”
Pandora has completed the publisher audit required by the MRC, and thus is first out of the gate with accreditation of the local ratings it has been using since 2012. According to Triton’s press release, other webcasters are in the pipeline.
Webcast Metrics Local is a separate product from Triton’s Webcast Metrics, which produces national and international Internet-stream metrics.