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Arbitron Response Rate Slides Again

Arbitron Response Rate Slides Again

Arbitron said it continues to work on ways to increase its response rates, even as that statistic continues to fall.
In the most recent fall survey, the average Metro survey area response rate declined 1.4 percentage points compared to a year earlier, to 33.1%. Return rate increased 0.6 points to 56.1%. The consent rate fell 3.2 points, to 58.2%.
(Consent rate is the percentage of the eligible sample that live in households that said “yes” to keeping an Arbitron diary. Return rate is the percentage of people who were sent a diary by Arbitron who returned a usable diary. Response rate is the percentage of the total eligible sample that returned a usable diary. This can be approximated as the product of consent rate and return rate.)
The audience research firm ticked off a list of steps it has taken in the past year to address the response rate problem, including: increasing diary premiums to black and Hispanic households in certain markets; expanding treatments targeting men 25-34 in additional markets; opening a second call center; transmitting information for caller ID displays that read “Arbitron”; and allowing respondents in households that get a pre-placement mailer to say “yes” to the survey via a secure Web site.
Arbitron plans more ways to improve sampling. It has begun testing an Electronic diary, for example, making it easier for people to fill out rather than using a handwritten paper diary.