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Arbitron Raises CPO-Only Targets

Council expects to talk more tech in future

Arbitron has announced two sample quality improvement initiatives, part of an ongoing effort to improve its offerings.

The audience research firm and the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council also are talking about future iterations of the Portable People Meter.

Arbitron plans to expand further cell-phone-only household sampling in its diary and PPM services to catch that growing demographic. It’s increasing the sample target for cell-phone-only households in diary markets to an average of 15% (from 10%) by year-end 2010 and increasing the sample target for cell-phone-only households in PPM markets to an average of 20 percent by year-end 2010.

Lisa Decker, Radio Advisory Council chairperson and senior vice president and Seattle market manager for CBS Radio, told reporters in a briefing this week that the station group is pleased with Arbitron’s progress and hopes the changes will “help achieve even more dramatic results for sample quality and enhanced accountability.”

Arbitron President/CEO Michael Skarzynski said Dr. Taymoor Arshi, senior vice president, engineering and chief technology officer for the company, discussed the future of audience measurement with the advisory group. Decker said the group is looking at making tech talks a bigger part of the council’s future meetings.

The company is planning for the convergence of radio, TV, the Internet and mobile devices, such as widgets on a digital TV, said Skarzynski. “We’re following the person where he or she might go. We’re not fixed to a set-top box or a device that stays in the house.” The company is conducting “pilot activities to improve the technology,” he said, and focused on migrating PPM technology “to get us to that place.”