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Macleod: U.S. Can Learn From Canadian PPM Use

Macleod: U.S. Can Learn From Canadian PPM Use

The U.S. may be able to learn what to expect by looking at Canada’s experience if the Portable People Meter is adopted as the audience measurement tool in the future to replace the paper diary.
Jim Macleod, president of BBM Canada, said the province of Quebec switched from a wired metering system for TV audience measurement to PPM in 2004. The two systems were run in parallel for 18 months prior to the switch to work out the bugs and to demonstrate that the two panels were measuring exactly the same thing, he told attendees of Arbitron’s annual programming consultant meeting in Columbia, Md.
To save money, all Canada did was change the hardware. Panel management, the collection system and the client software didn’t change.
Quebec uses PPM to record radio listening also, he said.
BBM Canada is getting a 90% cooperation rate from panelists who carry the PPM at least 4 hours a day, Macleod said.
Using PPM to measure audience eliminates “diary fatigue,” in which people typically fill out less and less of the paper diary as the week goes on, he said.
Another problem with the diary method, he said, is diary-keepers record habit, or, what they think they heard, rather than what they really heard, he said.