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Arbitron Pleased With Cross-Platform Measurement Pilot

Says PPM-based panel is solid foundation for multiplatform media audience gauge

A “significant” share of television viewers are using PCs and mobile devices as second and third screens to access content, says Arbitron.

The results of the study have implications for radio, too as radio morphs onto multiple platforms for the same audience and as the audience research firm measures both radio and TV with its Portable People Meter.

Arbitron and the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement recruited a PPM panel of 500 participants age 18+ who were retiring from PPM panels to take part in the pilot. Internet and mobile measurement was added to the scope of their PPM participation.

Television content providers, ad agencies and their advertisers formed CIMM, which is looking at new audience measurement methodologies, focusing on cross-platform measurement and set-top-box data.

The PPM technology measured the participants exposure to any encoded audio content of local and national television, cable, radio and other media entities. CIMM members that also have radio properties are CBS, Hearst, Univision and Disney.

The pilot participants viewed broadcast and cable TV outlets, websites and apps, as well as online video sites like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube — on their personal computers, websites and mobile apps on Android and BlackBerry devices.

Among the findings, nearly 92% of panelists who viewed TV/cable outlets used a second or third screen to access video sites or websites and some 35% used all three screens — TVs, PCs and smartphones. Out-of-home consumption accounted for 13% of the total time spent with TV and online video sites.

Also, 35% of viewers accessed online videos “at-work” and nearly three out of four “at-work” consumers watched on a desktop PC.

Arbitron EVP Service Innovation and Chief Research Officer Gregg Linder says that the cross-platform pilot demonstrates the value of personal, passive and portable measurement within a single panel of media consumers. “As media platforms evolve, so too will our measurement technologies as we work to support the emergence of a cross-platform buying and planning ecosystem. We continue to believe that a Portable People Meter-based panel will serve as a solid foundation for more scalable cross-media measurement solutions.”