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Arbitron Expanding Cell Households in Surveys

Widens definition of cellphone use for PPM, diary markets

“Cellphone-only” households are being joined by so-called “cellphone mostly” households, in Arbitron’s vernacular.

That’s what the audience research firm said in describing planned sample quality enhancements for its Portable People Meter ratings.

Getting cellphone users in its samples is key to reaching younger demos.

In a client call, Ed Cohen, vice president of Research Policy and Communication, said that previously, people who own landlines but rarely use them had little to no chance of being included in Arbitron surveys. The company began adding these households to its samples in the March survey. The company also is adding cell phone “mostly” households to diary markets in the spring survey.

Arbitron estimates an average of 40% of people 18–34 in PPM markets will come from its cell phone sample by the end of this year, up from 26% at the end of last year. It predicts an average of 25% of listeners age 6 and up will come from the PPM cell sample by the end of this year.

The company also said it began using address-based sampling in all PPM markets in the March survey.