PPM Measurement Begins in Philadelphia; Company Cites 'End of an Era' - Radio World

PPM Measurement Begins in Philadelphia; Company Cites 'End of an Era'

In Philadelphia, radio ratings will no longer be produced via traditional Arbitron diaries. The paper-and-pencil era ends this week in the city, with release of its fall 2006 survey.
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In Philadelphia, radio ratings will no longer be produced via traditional Arbitron diaries. The paper-and-pencil era ends this week in the city, with release of its fall 2006 survey.

Arbitron has begun electronic measurement of the market and announced a delivery schedule for the new Portable People Meter ratings service. For the next couple of months, data users are expected to use the Fall diary-based numbers while the January and February PPM ratings will be released as "demonstration data."

Encoding participants in the market include Beasley, CBS, Greater Media, Nassau, Radio One and several other groups, stations and colleges.

The arrival of PPM also brings the end of Arbitrends in Philly; subscribing stations instead will get monthly PPM-based audience estimates. The first PPM monthly audience estimates will come out on Feb. 28 for the monthly survey of Jan. 11-Feb. 7. The March monthly survey period (March 8 to April 4) will be the first "currency" ratings from PPM; that survey will deliver on April 25.

The company says the target size for its PPM "panel" there is 2,040 persons, ages 6 and up; about 10 percent of those are cell phone-only homes. It now has about 90 percent of its panel size goal.

Separately, the company announced recently that Radio One agreed to encode its stations in Philadelphia and Los Angeles; and WQXR(FM) in New York signed a multi-year agreement for Arbitron ratings services that include PPM measurement services once deployed in that city.

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Encoding for Ratings in the PPM World

Broadcast engineers in the top 50 radio markets will have new responsibilities when Arbitron switches each market from ratings based on paper-and-pencil diaries to ratings collected electronically by the Portable People Meter system.