New York - Mar 7, 2002 - Arbitron has signed six additional radio stations serving the Philadelphia DMA to encode their audio signal for the U.S. market trial of the Portable People Meter (PPM). Since the second phase of the U.S. market trial began on January 7, 2002, WAEB-FM, WCTO-FM, WKXW-FM, WLEV-FM, WRFY-FM and WZZO-FM have joined the 38 Philadelphia-area radio stations that have already been participating in the PPM trial during 2001, bringing the radio total to 44 stations. Eight TV stations and 22 cable networks in the Philadelphia market are also participating.
Since January 7, Arbitron has also recruited more than 1,150 consumers out of a planned total of 1,500 consumers who will be outfitted with the new passive audience measurement device. The Portable People Meter automatically reports a listener's exposure to the stations and cable networks that are currently encoding their audio signals for the U.S. market trial.
Arbitron intends to recruit the entire planned panel of 1,500 consumers, age six and older, by the end of March 2002. In the second and final phase of the U.S. market trial, Arbitron plans to give the industry its first direct look at individual station ratings for radio stations, television stations and cable networks generated by the Portable People Meter in the Philadelphia market. These estimates will be compared with individual station and cable network ratings delivered by current audience measurement systems.
The PPM is a pager-sized device that is carried by consumers. It automatically detects inaudible codes that TV and radio broadcasters as well as cable networks embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by Arbitron. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into base stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes to Arbitron for tabulation. The meters are equipped with a motion sensor that allows Arbitron to monitor the compliance of the PPM survey participants every day – a quality control feature unique to the Arbitron Portable People Meter in the realm of media research.