Arbitron Response Rates Still Dropping

Arbitron Response Rates Still Dropping
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Getting people to take part in surveys can be tough in this era of telemarketers and all the other sources competing for our attention. Arbitron continues to fight against declines in response rates, but seems encouraged by the results of various experiments to fight the problem.
The company released a summary of its response, consent and return rates for the 287 markets in its spring survey. The average metro survey area response rate fell 1.6 points to 33.7% compared to a year earlier. Return rate declined a fraction to 55.4%. Consent rate dropped 2.6 points to 60.1%.
In the top 10 markets, the average survey response rate held steady. The company offers diarykeepers in black and Hispanic households an additional cash bonus for returning a completed diary. This technique is called "promised incentive for return."
Among other steps to improve response, it is testing the effect of offering households a monetary premium just for agreeing to take part in the survey.