Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Audience Research Companies
Christopher H. Sterling
Largely because of advertiser demand for reader, listener, and viewer information, print and electronic media spend millions of dollars each year obtaining those data. They rarely develop the data themselves as that is seen as an obvious conflict of interest. Indeed, in the nineteenth century, newspapers and some magazines routinely inflated their circulation information to impress and attract advertisers. Advertisers want audience figures they can trust and even verify, preferably from independent (nonmedia) sources. Encouraged by advertisers, newspaper and magazine publishers founded the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) in 1914 as the world's first independent media audience measurement source. The ABC would create standard ways of measuring circulation that would allow ready comparison across publications. Fifteen years later, the nascent radio business took the same step, though here advertisers played a more overt role in forming the Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting (CAB). Getting data on radio listeners was harder because ...