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Arbitron Revenue Dips in Q3

It feels pinch from Nielsen among other factors

Arbitron saw lower revenue in its third quarter compared to a year ago, in part because Cumulus and Clear Channel are subscribing to Nielsen products in some smaller markets. Other reasons it cited include Univision choosing not to subscribe to the Portable People Meter in certain markets and the impact of the ad recession.

The company reported a drop of 4.3 percent in revenue compared to last year, to $98.1 million. Net income was $13.7 million.

It cautioned that comparability between 2008’s and 2009’s third quarters is also affected by the impact of the transition of its services from diary to PPM.

For the year to date, Arbitron has revenue of $283.4 million, up 3 percent over a year ago. For the year, the company continues to expect its revenue to increase between 2% and 6%.

President/CEO Michael Skarzynski said the company has now brought PPM to 25 markets.

“We continue to receive positive feedback from the market that electronic measurement is improving broadcasters’ programming and sales strategies,” he stated in the financial announcement. In the third quarter, Arbitron commercialized PPM in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, St. Louis, Denver-Boulder, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. “In addition, we have built out the PPM panels and begun the pre-currency surveys for the eight additional PPM markets that we plan to commercialize in December 2009,” he said.

Arbitron also now is sampling cell phone-only households in all its diary-based syndicated radio markets in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii, which he called an important milestone.

Cumulus, Clear Channel Praise Nielsen” (March 5, 2009)

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