New York - Jun 11, 2008 - Spanish Broadcasting System, Entravision Communications Corporation, Univision Communications and Border Media Partners have formed a coalition to voice concerns about Arbitron's proposed rollout of the Portable People Meter (PPM), citing their view of its potentially harmful effect as it relates to measuring Spanish-language media. The newly created group has been named the Spanish Radio Association (SRA).
The group held a meeting with Arbitron on June 6, 2008, during which they advocated the importance of evaluating the Hispanic audience measurement capabilities and effectiveness of Arbitron's PPM before its full-scale implementation. Representing the major Spanish-language broadcasters were Raul Alarcon Jr., chief executive officer and president of Spanish Broadcasting Systems; Gary Stone, president and chief operating officer of Univision Radio; Jeffery Liberman, president of Entravision's radio division; and Jeff Hinson, president and chief executive officer of Border Media Partners. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) also attended the meeting to support the group's concerns, where he reminded Arbitron's chief executive officer Steve Morris that the PPM will not only affect Spanish-language broadcasters but every Hispanic in the country.
The group's arguments include reference to the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S., an increase in popularity of Spanish-language formats, and the increased Hispanic buying power to its estimated level of $840 billion in the United States in 2007. The group wants Arbitron to "ensure sound methodology and representation of Hispanics," according to Liberman. He added, "We urge Arbitron not to move forward with the rollout of PPM until all ethnic broadcasters are satisfied that the principles of fair market representation are being fulfilled."
As part of the meeting, the SRA highlighted several key issues with PPM that need to be addressed before moving forward with the rollout, including panel sample size, the increased response rates, accurately identifying and tracking panelists' country of origin, improved language weighting, accurate cell phone-only representation, and fair measurement when it comes to high-density Hispanic areas and sharing of more detailed sample information including meter placement according to zip codes.
The group intends to meet regularly with Arbitron in an effort to ensure any sample includes accurate measurement of Hispanic audiences in all markets that will be launching the PPM.