In response to Clear Channel Radio's ratings challenge, (see story above,) Arbitron says in July, it's prepared to present to Clear Channel and to the rest of the radio industry a "fast-track" proposal that could deliver Portable People Meter radio ratings in the U.S. by April 2006.
Arbitron President/CEO Steve Morris said the audience research firm is prepared to unveil a so-called "radio first" PPM rollout plan. "This plan will give radio the earliest possible benefit of an electronic ratings system while allowing other media the option to participate at a later date," said Morris.
He urged the rest of the radio industry to "take up Clear Channel's sense of urgency" for the adoption of electronic measurement.
Arbitron also called on the RAB PPM task force to "act promptly" on the answers to more than 200 questions posed by the group to Arbitron about the PPM and to release the results of a Forrester study on the economic impact of electronic measurement.
Arbitron plans to begin delivering results of the PPM market trial this summer.
One thing we note that has been left out of the discussion so far is price; Arbitron has maintained it needs Nielsen as a partner to make PPM economically feasible, yet Nielsen is reluctant to commit. Radio customers have asked about the cost of PPM and Arbitron has yet to give one publicly, saying it's too soon to know how all the elements would add up.