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Nielsen Audio, Inc.


2018 Vault Rankings

At a Glance


Long history of success and innovation with nearly 50 years as a leading marketing and media analytics firm

Most trusted and used marketing research services in radio


Radio-centric. Although Arbitron focuses on all avenues of media, most resources are devoted to radio.

The Bottom Line

Arbitron Inc. is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media—radio, television, cable, out-of-home, the mobile industry, advertising agencies and advertisers around the world. It helps advertisers and marketers reach their customers more effectively.

About Nielsen Audio, Inc.

Nielsen Audio watches radio listeners. The top provider of radio station audience ratings in the US, Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) surveys radio listeners in hundreds of local markets throughout the country. Its survey reports measure not only what stations people are listening to but also demographic information about those listeners, including income, lifestyles, and shopping habits. Thousands of radio stations and advertising agencies subscribe to the company's services. In addition to radio ratings data, Nielsen Audio offers market research for cable TV, Internet, and outdoor-advertising customers. In 2013 it was acquired by Nielson Holdings for $1.26 billion.

Geographic Reach

The company operates in more than 100 countries.

Sales and Marketing

The radio broadcasting industry has undergone substantial consolidation over the past decade, meaning that there are fewer station groups to which Nielsen Audio can market its services. However, consolidation also has meant more individual stations are subscribing to its service as they are acquired by these larger groups. Broadcasting giant Clear Channel Communications accounts for about 20% of the company's sales each year.


Nielsen Audio has historically performed its surveys through listening diaries that are filled out by selected participants, but the company has been investing in electronic devices called Portable People Meters (PPM) to get more-accurate audience measurements. It first tested the cell phone-sized devices in the early 1990s and continued to develop them in partnership with TV ratings company Nielsen Media Research.

To strengthen its data quality, Nielsen Audio added cell phone-only households into its diary market samples, improved the representation of 18- to 34-year-olds, and ramped up work on electronic and online alternatives to the paper-and-pencil diary. Overall, it is leveraging its leading position in the radio industry to expand its market-research activities into new areas such as satellite radio, broadcast television, Internet broadcasts, and mobile media.

Nielsen Audio, Inc.

7000 Columbia Gateway Dr STE 200
Columbia, MD 21046-1572
Phone: 1 (410) 312-8000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Chief Executive Officer: David Calhoun
Chairman: Philip Guarascio
Chief Operating Officer: Brian West
Employees (This Location): 900
Employees (All Locations): 1,443

Major Office Locations

Columbia, MD

Other Locations

Los Angeles, CA
Columbia, MD
Dallas, TX