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Arbitron Starts Personal Metering Testing

Arbitron Starts Personal Metering Testing

Arbitron is recruiting consumers in the Philadelphia area for the trial run of its radio, TV and cable channel audience measurement device, the Portable People Meter. The research firm hopes to procure and install personal meters with 300 consumers in Wilmington, Del., radio metro area for the first phase. The company expects the recruitment process to take nine to 10 weeks.
Arbitron plans to have more than 70 broadcasters and cable networks encoding signals by the time the full 300-person panel is in place. By the first week of December, 48 radio, TV and cable channels were encoding broadcasts. Many of these stations were using an upgraded version of the encoding software Arbitron released at the end of November.
The PPM is a pager-sized unit that is worn by an audience member throughout the day. The device detects embedded codes sent by broadcasters in the audio portion of the programming. At the end of the day the meter is placed in a recharging station that also sends the collected codes to the Arbitron database.