Arbitron Will Restart the PPM Rollout

Morris says ‘We have improved’ in several key ways.
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Morris says ‘We have improved’ in several key ways.

Arbitron feels the time is right to resume rolling out its Portable People Meter electronic measurement system.

It plans to go live with PPM results in eight markets beginning with the September survey report.

“Pre-currency” measurement for these markets will begin on June 26: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Riverside-San Bernardino and San Jose.

In November 2007, Arbitron decided to delay commercialization of PPM in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas at the behest of several radio groups concerned about the PPM methodology. They’re especially concerned about the sample sizes of the panels of meter-wearers.

Unlike the diary, where listeners have the diary for a week, with PPM listeners can wear the meter for a year, potentially giving panel changes greater ramifications.

Arbitron cited improvements in its panel sizes in its decision to move ahead.

Chairman/President/CEO Steve Morris stated: “We have improved our PPM samples in the four key areas we outlined last November. We have enhanced our ability to deliver PPM sample targets. We’ve improved the composition of our PPM panels, especially among the 18–34 demographic. We’ve raised the day-to-day cooperation rate of our PPM respondents. We’ve also put in place a number of programs designed to have a positive impact on response rates.”

Additionally broadcasters and advertisers are taking steps to try to enhance the accountability of the medium, Morris stated, citing the Radio Advertising Bureau decision to publish “posting” guidelines and ad schedule guarantees as well as the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ efforts to advance its e-business effort “Project Reinvention.”

PPM, said Morris, can deliver the “granularity,” precision and speed of reporting that can help radio make these and other accountability initiatives a success.