Three weeks after announcing a cost savings plan, Nielsen now says it will cease measuring radio listening in nine smaller U.S. markets. Spring 2020 will be the final Market Report for Battle Creek, MI; Bend, OR; Billings, MT; Grand Junction, CO; New Bedford-Fall River, MA; Texarkana, TX-AR; Tri-Cities, WA (Richland-Kennewick-Pasco); Twin Falls-Sun Valley, ID; and Yakima, WA.
"Like most commercial businesses, Nielsen Audio continually reviews the economic viability of doing business in all markets,” the company said in a statement. “If the audio marketplace in select markets cannot financially support measurement, we discontinue producing our syndicated market report in those markets. That is just business as usual, the typical expansion and contraction of our rated audio market list, which is the case with these nine markets."
Consistent with its policy regarding cancelled Metros, subscribers can only use the data for a cancelled market for up to six months following the final data release. The reason for that, Nielsen says, is that “audience estimates from cancelled Radio Metros may contain outdated data that are no longer current.”
When the company first announced the cutbacks on July 7, it said it would exit several smaller, underperforming markets and non-core businesses in the second half of 2020 as part of a plan to drive permanent cost savings and operational efficiencies. At that point it wasn’t clear how the global restructuring might impact its U.S. radio business.
As Inside Radio reported earlier, the restructuring will reduce the measurement giant’s global workforce by about 3,500 employees and deliver roughly $250 million in annual savings.