Digital Audio Metadata

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Engineering Portal breadcrumbArrow.png Digital breadcrumbArrow.png Digital Audio breadcrumbArrow.png Digital Audio Metadata


Digital Audio Measurement measures live AM and FM station streams on all internet players certified with the Nielsen Mobile or Browser SDK. To identify and track stations, Nielsen uses pieces of information or metadata passed from your player through the SDK's application program interface (API) parameters. All metadata must be formatted correctly to completely credit your content.

  • Nielsen aggregates station listening across digital platforms using the same station database as over-the-air (OTA) stations in the PPM service.
  • Nielsen's Radio Station Information Database uses a look-up key or station identifier to access the OTA station information.
  • If the identifier is not found in the RSI Database, the station stream will not receive complete credit.
  • The station identifier format is consistent with the call sign designation used for FCC-licensed transmitters. Examples are below.

Station stream metadata must be kept up-to-date with the call sign changes for over-the-air stations. Tools for monitoring or debugging your metadata are described later in the debugging section of this guide, Debugging Metadata.

Digital Audio Measurement does not use ID3 tags to derive audio information, only the metadata. The below sections explain the rules for formatting each piece of metadata and describe how to pass it to the SDK "loadMetadata" API.


Key Description Values or Example Required?
type Type of content. Always use “radio” “radio” Yes
assetid Station identifier in the form of the official FCC call letters and band in ALL CAPS (no Special Characters) "WWWW-FM" Yes
stationType Over-the-air (OTA) station type
  1. OTA Streaming station with same ad load
  2. OTA station with different ad load
"1" or "2" Yes
provider Free form name of station or content owner "Sample Station Owner" Yes
dataSrc Always "cms" "cms" Yes

Station Identifier

The assetid carries the station identification string to the SDK and must be formatted correctly for a station to receive complete credit.

  • The call sign must be registered with Nielsen.
  • The call sign string must be followed by a dash "-" and the band, usually "-AM" or "-FM", in one of the formats described below.
  • Station stream metadata must be kept up to date to match call sign changes for over-the-air stations.

Streams of AM and FM Stations

  • Call and band must be separated by a dash “-”
  • Format should exactly match the over-the-air station. For example: The stream of WWWW-FM should be delivered as “WWWW-FM”

Streams of HD Stations

  • Call and band must be separated by a dash “-”
  • Band code should properly reflect the # of the HD station
  • A Unique band code of “F#” has been created for this purpose: For example: WWWW-HD2 = “WWWW-F2”
                 HD 3:  -F3, HD 4:  -F4, HD 5:  -F5, HD 6:  -F6, HD 7:  -F7, HD 8:  -F8, HD 9:  -F9
  • Please note that an alternative format of "-HD2" can be used in place of "-F2".

Band Code Definitions

Band Code Suffix Description Example
-FM Stream for OTA FM Broadcast station "WWWW-FM"
-F# Stream for OTA high def FM station with # as the numeric band number "WWWW-F2"
-IF Stream for OTA FM Broadcast station (same as "-FM") "WWWW-IF"
-AM Stream for OTA AM Broadcast Station "WYLL-AM"
-IA Stream for OTA AM Broadcast Station (same as "-AM") "WYLL-IA"
-SA Stream for Satellite station "WHGG-SA"


Sample Metadata Object

The below example is for a javascript implementation in a browser player.

var metadataObject = { 
      'dataSrc': 'cms'
     ,'stationType': '1'
     , 'type': 'radio'
     , 'assetid': 'WWWW-FM'
     , 'provider': 'Sample Station Owner'

Debugging Metadata

To determine if the assetid is formatted correctly for your stations, use one of several tools to verify that the C7stnid parameter in the Nielsen pings is being returned as a numeric value.

There are several tools available to inspect ping data to determine if your metadata is formatted correctly.

  • Nielsen provides an SDK monitoring tool for you to check metadata in your production applications. Ask your Nielsen Account Rep to register you for the OpIntel App Metrics tool.
  • You can reroute your application data to an http inspection tool such as Charles or Fiddler to view data coming to and from your app.
  • You can inspect browser data through the Developer Tools in Chrome and other browsers.


Good Metadata

Ping Parameter Description
"C7stnid,36700" If good, the C7stnid parameter will contain the numeric key returned from the Nielsen reference database for your call sign
"C8clb,WWWW-F5" The C8clb parameter will contain your station's assetid or call letters and band

Incorrect Metadata

Ping Parameter Description
"C7stnid,WGQKFM-HD2" "WGQK-FM-HD2" is not a valid station identifier. The C7stnid parameter is not numeric. The numeric key was not returned because the assetid provided was not found in the Nielsen Radio Station Information Database.
"C8clb,WGQKFM-HD2" The C8clb parameter contains the assetid

The above example, "Bad Metadata", is formatted incorrectly. The assetid in C8clb "WGQKFM-HD2", should be formatted as "WGQK-F2".