Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting, Inc., Reports, 1932-1946


The Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting, Inc. (CAB) was the first widely accepted venture in radio measurement in the United States. It was launched in March of 1930. Archibald Maddock Crossley (1896-) founded the market research firm of Crossley, Inc. The reports that resulted, referred to as the Crossley Ratings, served an important function in influencing radio programming and advertising through the 1930's and into the 1940's.

Crossley's first steps in audience measurement came in 1927-1928 when representatives of Davis Banking Powder requested that his firm check on the reception of their program across the country. Through this experience Crossley developed the telephone “recall” sample for radio listening. By 1929 he was preparing a study entitled “The Advertiser Looks at Radio,” based upon thirty thousand interviews in forty-four cities, to attract advertising support for more frequent and long-term surveys. Subscribers were soon found; and, although the Association of National Advertisers would not take an active part in the venture, that organization did provide a sponsoring endorsement.

By 1934 the financial and selling aspects of the Crossley surveys were taken over by a new corporate unit composed of three advertiser and two agency members appointed by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Field and statistical work was continued by Crossley, Inc.; the newly incorporated venture retained the designation Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting. This arrangement between Crossley and the advertisers continued until the summer of 1946 when the tripartite enterprise disbanded as a result of the greater financial support and interest being assumed by the networks. In an agreement with Crossley, the program rating service for CAB subscribers was taken over by C. E. Hooper, Inc., effective August 1, 1946.