Nielsen Preps SpotScan Shutdown

Nielsen is preparing to shut down SpotScan, a spot monitoring service for radio stations. Clients are expected to learn the details next month.

Layoffs are also anticipated with the move.

The company, best known for its TV ratings, has been busy trimming its portfolio of late to focus on what it considers its core businesses.

“We want to focus on our core monitoring business,” said a Nielsen spokesperson. “In terms of timing [of the shut down] we don’t have a final date.”

Launched in 2007, SpotScan went head-to-head with Media Monitors, purchased by Clear Channel in 2006. Nielsen was betting it could get a leg up on the competition by providing detailed ad-tracking data combined with spending data and competitive information about other local media. SpotScan was based on data from Nielsen’s Monitor-Plus, which tracks advertising spending across 19 media segments.

With the shutdown of SpotScan, Nielsen cedes the radio spot tracking business to Media Monitors, which tracks radio spots across more than 80 markets, twice as many as SpotScan. Since Nielsen launched SpotScan, Media Monitors branched out into other local media including newspapers, broadcast TV and cable.

While Nielsen is abandoning SpotScan, it is still pursuing the radio ratings business with last year’s launch of its radio ratings service in 51 small and midsize markets.