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Arbitron to Roll Out PPM in Top Markets by Fall 2008; Starts This July

Arbitron to Roll Out PPM in Top Markets by Fall 2008; Starts This July

Arbitron has a firmer timetable for when and where it will deploy its Portable People Meter to measure radio audiences electronically.
The company will begin using PPM in the top markets, starting with Houston this July and continuing in the top 10 markets by fall 2008; it plans to expand to the top 50 markets two to three years after that.
PPM has been in U.S. market trials since 2001; it will replace the paper and pencil diary method that the company has employed to collect radio audience estimates since 1965.
The PPM has been deployed in Houston as a demo since last July. Arbitron had said earlier it could switch to the PPM system in that market as early as this April.
Steve Morris, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said the current PPM is tenth-generation technology. While the company feels now is the time to move forward with PPM, it will continue to work with customers “who are in the process of examining options for the next generation of electronic measurement,” a recognition of a coalition of broadcast groups led by Clear Channel Radio, which has narrowed down its field of electronic measurements systems to three, including the PPM.
Arbitron said it will deploy account managers, trainers and software specialists in Houston to work with stations, agencies and advertisers there.