Nielsen Throws In Towel on U.S. Radio Ratings Biz

Less than a week after Arbitron signed a huge extension with Clear Channel Radio for its ratings service, Nielsen has thrown in the towel on its own bid to get into the radio ratings business in the U.S.

Nielsen issued a statement today confirming that it has “decided to end its measurement of radio in the United States, as of the fall 2010 period. Back data and limited access to Radio Advisor software will continue to be available for use by Nielsen clients, as required.”

Nielsen emphasized that it would continue offering radio ratings in the oversees markets, where it currently provides them. A Nielsen representative said the company would have no further comment.

Nielsen’s decision came following word last Wednesday from Arbitron that it had signed a reported $540 million deal with Clear Channel, extending Arbitron’s PPM and diary radio ratings service in all CC radio markets through 2016.

Missing out on perhaps the most lucrative deal available in the business, Nielsen called it quits.

Nielsen first announced its entry into the radio ratings business two years ago. Its first deals were with Cumulus Radio for service in 50 small and medium markets, and Clear Channel, in 17 markets.

After confirming the Clear Channel deal last week, Arbiton said its 2011 revenue would grow 6 percent to 8 percent higher than 2010 revenue. It also said this year’s revenue would be “near the lower end” of the previous guidance of between 2 percent and 6 percent more than the $385 million garnered in 2009.