Arbitron Commercializes PPM in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale

Move immediately follows filing of a suit by Florida’s attorney general
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Arbitron has “commercialized” its Portable People Meter radio ratings service in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Fla. market.

The move comes hours after that state’s attorney general, Bill McCollum, sued Arbitron, saying PPM undercounts minority listeners.

Arbitron released radio audience estimates for the June PPM survey month to its subscribers in the market and said the audience estimates can now be used as the for basis buy/sell transactions of commercial time among subscribing stations, agencies and advertisers.

It also said the April and May PPM survey months, which the company had previously released as “pre-currency” information, are now “currency” data, retiring the Winter 2009 diary report for the market.

In the suit, McCollum says he filed the complaint to “prevent Arbitron from releasing flawed radio station ratings that significantly undercount minority listeners. The flawed ratings would threaten the viability of radio stations in the Miami area and elsewhere in Florida that air programming targeted to minorities because those stations will be unable to fairly compete for advertising sales.”

Attorneys general in New York, New Jersey and Maryland have sought and won settlements with Arbitron over its PPM.

Arbitron released the market data earlier than anticipated to meet customer obligations, said President/CEO Michael Skarzynski. “The industry needs current estimates of the radio audience in the nation’s largest markets to facilitate an efficient buy-sell process for radio advertising. Our goal with the commercialization of the PPM is to help radio remain competitive in an increasingly challenging media marketplace.”

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