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Arbitron Tests E-Diary, Hurricane Listening, Cell Phone Households

Arbitron Tests E-Diary, Hurricane Listening, Cell Phone Households

Arbitron continues to test its “E-diary,” which it hopes it can use to raise diary response rates, especially among young males. Ongoing studies show young men to be “consenters” but not “returners” of the diary.
With the E-diary, the idea is that men 18-24 might take the time to fill out the survey online instead of keeping a paper diary.
According to Arbitron’s Ed Cohen, the company found it problematic to send the diary via e-mail due to address changes and spam filters. Outgoing e-mail is unreliable and it’s easy to get an address wrong, the company has found.
“We can’t get e-mail addresses over the phone,” said Cohen to consultants meeting at the research firm late last week.
When the company is trying to place such a diary, typically whoever answers the phone doesn’t know the e-mail addresses of the other members of their households, Cohen said.
For its next test of the E-diary, Arbitron plans to contact potential respondents by mail and ask them if they want to keep their diary online.
Other upcoming projects for Arbitron include a cell phone study and a survey in Florida and Alabama to learn about radio listening during the recent hurricanes. The goal of the cell phone study is to reach people who only use a cell phone and have no land line. Arbitron estimates this to be approximately 5% of the U.S. population, which translates to 36,000 households, according to Cohen.