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PPM Moves Into the Real World

Several sessions being presented today focus on the Portable People Meter (PPM), how it will affect the diary and measuring listenership.

Several sessions being presented today focus on the Portable People Meter (PPM), how it will affect the diary and measuring listenership.

The session “This Just In … The Latest on PPM,” 1–2 p.m. will address PPM issues, including the current data and subsequent rollouts, and status reports from markets using PPM.

Moderated by Chuck DuCoty, NRG Media, the session includes panelists Doug Abernethy, Radio One; Pierre Bouvard, Arbitron Inc.; and Bill Weston, WMMR.


While PPM currently dominates much of the ratings discussion, many stations across America will continue to be measured by diaries. A panel of experts will discuss issues surrounding PPM and how PPM will affect the diary credibility in “Hey, My Market May Never Get PPM,” 2:15–3:15 p.m.

Steve Young, Dial Global will moderate the session.

Panelist Gerry Boehme, Katz Media Group, said expect to see three primary focuses at the session.

First, Arbitron is rolling out PPM measurement to the top 50 markets over the next several years. It is anticipated, Boehme said, that other Arbitron markets will continue to be diary subscribers, at least for the foreseeable future.

“As the industry promotes the benefits of PPM—passive measurement, “hi-tech” image, the ability to report data more often and in more detail— how do we protect the legitimacy and credibility of diary measurement, especially when PPM shows different radio listening patterns than the diary?” Boehme asked.

The second and third focuses will cover issues related to the current economic and competitive conditions demand that Arbitron diary subscribers maximize the value of their investment in their measurement service.

Boehme, a member of the Arbitron Advisory Council, said attendees will gain two important things from the session.

“First, I think broadcasters in diary-based markets fear that the attention being paid to PPM could hurt them both in terms of Arbitron’s focus and in the way they are viewed by advertisers. We hope to answer their questions and make them more comfortable with the changes they face,” Boehme said.

“Second, these same broadcasters face important decisions about how to conduct their business and how to invest their research budgets. I believe this session will provide valuable insight that will help them make the best choices for their stations and their markets.”

Other panelists include Mike Gould, Eastlan Resources; Michael Osterhout, MCC Radio LLC; and Tom O’Sullivan, Arbitron Inc.

Also from 2:15–3:15 p.m., Pierre Bouvard, Arbitron Inc. and Larry Rosin, Edison Media Research, will present a study Edison Media and Arbitron conducted in which they encoded TV commercials run by radio stations and matched them against PPM listenership.

The session “Are Half My Advertising Dollars Wasted?” asks the question: Does a television commercial get non-users to try a radio station? They also look at other marketing efforts in an attempt to crack the code of what “really works.”