Arbitron Response to National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters
Company stands by the validity of the data produced by
the New York Portable MeterTM ratings service;
Agrees to review by independent panel
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB) released the following statement in response to statements made by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters on November 8, 2007 regarding the Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings service in the New York radio market.
Arbitron’s role is to provide valid estimates of audience size and composition for radio. With random sampling as the basic research platform for measuring, there is never “perfect” measurement, which is why the Media Rating Council® mandates that the data are always to be described by suppliers like Arbitron as “estimates.”
Arbitron’s position for many years has been to continuously strive to improve the quality of the estimates produced by the diary system, while simultaneously working to find a method of data collection that was fundamentally superior to the diary, which of necessity relies on memory and is susceptible to “voting” by respondents. Personal, portable and, most importantly, passive measurement has been the objective of PPM development over the last 15 years. Arbitron has received strong support from both buyers and sellers of radio time for this objective of more passive data collection, especially since all other forms of media have been moving rapidly in this direction. From the advertiser perspective, passive measurement is critical in establishing whether audience data is credible and accountable. Radio has been at a disadvantage on this dimension versus other media, particularly the Internet, but TV and even print and outdoor have also been moving quickly to meet the call for accountability, leaving radio increasingly vulnerable.