At Wednesday's conference call discussing Nielsen's third quarter financial report, CEO David Calhoun discussed the company's acquisition of Arbitron. Calhoun noted that during Q3, the deal closed, saying, "I know it all felt like it took too long, but it is done. We've got a great plan. We started right out of the block by rebranding it as Nielsen Audio, and our integration plan is well underway, and we're very positive about the outlook," according to Seeking Alpha's transcript.
When asked for further information about the integration, Nielsen CFO Brian West said, "My view is that Q1 is going to be a milestone where you'll see not only the progress on the integration and the synergies that we committed to, but also more about how we prioritize." Calhoun echoed West's statement, simply saying that "you won't have to wait long."
Calhoun later discussed the integration of Arbitron's staff and assets, saying that "you don't need 2 headquarters. The functional support stuff is relatively straightforward, because you only need one accounts payable processing. You only need one receivables. The fit with this company, I've said this many times, is really relative to the 35 we did before this, is probably better than any of those."
Calhoun also touched on measurement of streaming audio, saying, "Streaming audio is a big opportunity that we intend to go full after, just like we did in video. And so that one, it might take a little longer to get the product exactly right, but by the middle of next year, you'll know exactly what we have in mind and exactly what the timeframe in which we intend to go after it."
He was also later asked about radio advertisers, and said that radio "can be a bit of a forgotten medium relative to everything digital and everything TV, and of course, all the reach that those two things enjoy. We believe that radio is a more vibrant medium than the way the world perceives it. And it's mostly built around its local characteristics and its proximity to everything retail ... it's two hours of a consumer's day. Most of it's in a car, and most of it is in close proximity to retail." He continued, "So our job is to go out and demonstrate with what kind of retailers, with what kind of consumers does it, in fact, have an impact and then can we begin to educate advertisers as to what that impact is so that they can include it in their media mix models and other forms of resource allocation models that they do."