Arbitron, PPM Coalition Settle Dispute to Move Forward

April 23, 2010


Columbia, MD - Apr 22, 2010 - Arbitron and the PPM Coalition (PPMC) have settled their outstanding disputes and plan to move forward collaboratively. Under the leadership of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Arbitron and the PPMC have worked jointly with the Media Rating Council (MRC) to implement a series of steps designed to enhance the recruitment methodology of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings service. These enhancements include the addition of address-based sampling with targeted in-person recruiting to increase PPM panelist participation in key market segments. Arbitron hopes to obtain or retain (depending on the market) MRC accreditation by working with the PPMC.

Minority radio station groups have challenged the PPM system's ability to accurately track minority listenership. Frank Flores, chief revenue officer of Spanish Broadcasting System, said, "We are very pleased with the settlement. We hope it marks the beginning of a new kind of partnership with Arbitron where we all work together to continuously improve the PPM service which we believe will instill a new level of confidence in its results."

The initiatives include the addition of targeted in-person recruitment to Arbitron's multi-faceted PPM panelist recruitment approach that currently includes mailings and phone calls. In-person recruitment benefits all broadcasters as it targets population segments that are more likely to be reachable only by cell phone -- including youth and minorities. Arbitron will also use address-based sampling to select landline households to further improve geographic proportionality.

This enhanced recruitment approach is scheduled to begin in July 2010 with targeted in-person recruiting. In-person recruiting would initially be deployed in the high density Black and Hispanic areas across the top 25 PPM Markets by year-end 2010; with implementation of address-based sampling and the addition of targeted in-person recruiting across all geographies of all PPM Markets by the end of 2011.

Additional initiatives undertaken by Arbitron to help support minority and all broadcasters include:

  • Launching a previously disclosed engagement metric in 2010
  • Increasing the PPM sample size for people 18-54 by approximately 10 percent by mid-2011 as previously disclosed
  • Forming a minority leadership council in 2010 to bring the leadership of broadcasters and agency communities together
  • Expanding current initiatives directed toward advertiser outreach for minority radio


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