Next-Gen PPM to Go Smaller, Portable, on More Devices

New CEO tells RW Arbitron has OK'd new money to extend its platform
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As radio moves its content onto other platforms, new Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski wants PPM to measure audience for that exposure and move into TV, Internet and wireless devices.

Questioned during a media conference call by Radio World about how Arbitron will develop its audience measurement as radio gets on portable devices and in what time frame, Skarzynski — an electrical engineer-turned-CEO — said the company has just approved an undisclosed sum of money to extend its PPM platform.

"Our tech roadmap calls for taking what you would look at today as a PPM hardware suite and moving, over time, to smaller devices and a software-only solution. The idea is the PPM software would allow Arbitron to measure listening and viewing on a laptop, smartphone or a flat-panel display hooked up to a cable TV head-end."

If several things go as planned, Arbitron could beta-test a pilot within 12 months, he said.

Skarzynski spent the bulk of his career pre-Arbitron in telecom, where he said he worked at making phone calls faster and more efficient. From his time at AT&T and Bell Labs, he also was acquainted with some of the employees employed with the former Lucent Digital Radio, he said.