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Arbitron to Increase Cell Households in All PPM Markets

Says it's part of efforts to enhance participation by those 18–34 in particular

Arbitron will increase the sample target for cell-phone-only households in all Portable People Meter markets to 15% by the end of 2010.

“Increasing the number of cell-phone-only households in our PPM samples is an important element in our ongoing programs to enhance the participation of 18–34 year olds of all races and ethnicities,” said Arbitron President of Technology and Research & Development Owen Charlebois. As the number of households that can be reached only by cell-phone continues to grow, he said Arbitron will update its methodologies to better include that part of the population.

The action extends one of the settlement terms it recently made with the attorney generals of New York and New Jersey.

In an interim step, the current target of 7.5% will be raised to 12.5% in PPM markets by the end of this year.

For the New York PPM radio ratings service, Arbitron had previously said it would increase the cell-phone-only sample target to 15% by July 2010.

We reported in December that Arbitron announced plans to expand the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling to 151 diary markets in spring of 2009 and to all diary markets (except Puerto Rico) by this fall.

Chief Research Officer Bob Patchen said the company has tested and is implementing an address-based sampling method to identify and contact cell-phone-only households. The new method is more efficient than the manual dialing procedures Arbitron had been using, he said, and allows the research firm to increase the number of cell-phone-only persons included in its panels.