We have just concluded three days of intense and productive meetings with Arbitron representatives.
Over the past few weeks the industry has expressed firm support for electronic measurement and PPM for radio. The industry has made it clear that Arbitron needs to make significant improvements in the PPM sampling process and continue to improve diary measurement to ensure buyer and seller confidence in audience estimates for all stations and all audience targets in all markets.
The Advisory Council has made significant progress in the following areas:
â€¢ 18-54 guarantee – As a first and immediate step, the Council welcomes Arbitronâ€™s commitment to narrow the guarantee of PPM sample performance proportionality from Persons 6+ to Persons 18-54, and to set the initial minimum level at 80%.
â€¢ Sample improvement metrics by January 18, 2008 – We look forward to seeing Arbitronâ€™s plans to raise this performance metric as they pursue improvements in core sampling units, especially within 18-34, African-American and Hispanic. We understand Arbitronâ€™s need to take additional time to work through very complex issues regarding PPM sampling performance in specific age, sex and ethnic targets. We are encouraged that Arbitron has committed to providing the Council with their specific responses to these important questions, including sample benchmarks for selling demographics, by January 18th 2008.
â€¢ 12+ Recalibration – Arbitron acknowledged the Councilâ€™s desire to recalibrate the current 6+ PPM sample universe to Persons 12+. Arbitron requested the opportunity to discuss this proposal with the rest of the industry and provide the Council with options on how to fulfill this request. Arbitron has committed to follow-up with the council by the end of 1st quarter 2008.
â€¢ Pursue MRC accreditation but donâ€™t wait – The Council supports Arbitronâ€™s plans to continue to pursue and then maintain MRC accreditation in all commercialized PPM markets without slowing the PPM rollout process.
â€¢ Diary Czar – The Council welcomes Arbitronâ€™s appointment of Tom Oâ€™Sullivan as point person for all diary measurement as a clear sign that diary measurement remains a priority for the short- and the long-term.
â€¢ Cell phone only – The Council is pleased that Arbitron has prioritized including cell-phone-only households in PPM measurements and requests that Arbitron extend their plans for measuring cell-phone-only households in 2008 to diary markets as well as PPM markets.
The Advisory Council is supportive of the Philadelphia and Houston PPM measurement currently in the market and has been assured by Arbitron that they will continue to improve those individual services as they address the issues above.
While we feel that a great deal of progress was made during the three days of the Atlanta meetings, the Council and Arbitron agree that much more needs to be accomplished in the next nine months and beyond. We encourage the industry to work together and engage in constructive dialogue that will bring PPM into the radio marketplace in a positive manner that will benefit the entire industry as a whole.
The Arbitron Radio Advisory Council
December 5, 2007