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Arbitron Announces Its Next-Gen Electronic Measuring Stick

PPM 360 is smaller audience measurement solution, includes wireless technology

For years, as we’ve reported, Arbitron has been working behind the scenes on a smaller Portable People Meter, with an eye towards someday inserting its audience measurement technology on other devices.

This week it took a step towards that goal with the announcement of “PPM 360,” a smaller PPM measurement device that includes wireless technology.

By migrating to a wireless platform, Arbitron says it will be better able to follow the media habits of younger demos. This new approach lays the foundation for the development of future applications for the patented, proprietary PPM technology on multiple consumer devices, according to the company.

The device design is smaller than the current pager-size device; because it’s wireless, the docking equipment is no longer needed. Panelists can simply plug in the device, power it up and transmit their data back to Arbitron.

“The PPM 360 technology is a combined approach to measurement and data retrieval that enables future development of applications for multi-platform measurement, including cell phones, wireless devices and computers providing flexibility for future services that better reflect the industry need to follow the consumer,” Arbitron CTO Taymoor Arshi said in a client briefing on Monday.

“Our new technology is designed to position us to meet the research needs of a network, station or advertiser, including seeing data closer to a major event.”

Arbitron told RW it plans to test the device this year with an eye towards 2011 use.

Look for more on this story in this week’s Leslie Report.