Arbitron Updates Response Rates, Promises to 'Redouble Efforts'

Arbitron Updates Response Rates, Promises to 'Redouble Efforts'
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Arbitron said average metro response rate measures for its Winter 2003 survey in 97 continuously measured markets declined 2.3 percentage points to 33.9% from 36.2% in the same period a year earlier.
The average metro consent rate declined 3.3 points from 63.1 percent to 59.8 percent. Average metro return rate declined 0.8 points from 56.9 points to 56.1 percent.
In the top 10 markets, the company described as "mixed" its success in trying to stem the decline of response rates.
"Arbitron has continually invested in programs to maintain and improve the quality of our radio ratings surveys. Yet as consumers grow less willing to participate in surveys, we will redouble our efforts to address the decline in response rates that confronts the entire research industry," said Owen Charlebois, president of U.S. Media Services.
The company said it will unveil its plan to enhance diary surveys on May 1.
"We will unveil a program of new survey treatments, research tests, and an expanded research and development program. And as Arbitron commits new resources to enhance the quality of our research services, we will also ask the industry to look at this issue from additional points of view," Charlebois said.
Definitions: Consent rate is the percent of eligible sample who live in households that said "yes" to keeping an Arbitron diary. Return rate is the percent of people who were sent a diary who returned a usable diary.
Response rate is the percent of the total eligible sample who returned a usable diary. This can be approximated as the product of consent rate and response rate, the company said.

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