A Website Targeting Kansas City PPM Participants Gets Arbitron's Attention
June 13, 2013 at 7:52 AM (PT)
A website called www.listenlonger.com has caught the attention of KANSAS CITY radio executives and ARBITRON
The site describes its mission as, "dedicated to saving our favorite KC radio station through education about the rating system. We won’t be naming that station anywhere on this site, and ask that you don’t reference it with regard to this site either. ListenLonger.com is in no way affiliated with the station, and this will keep them out of harms way. Here you’ll learn how ratings are calculated and what you can (or can’t) do to help our station stay on the air. Long story short, listening longer isn’t enough. A radio signal travels in only one direction -- away from the studios broadcasting towers -- and has no way to report back to the station how many people are picking up that signal. No one knows that you have your radio dialed into a specific station unless you tell them."
The site asks users to report if they are PPM participants, which caused ARBITRON to respond with a cease-and-desist letter.
In the letter to the website's registered owner CHRIS LOVE, ARBITRON Chief Intellectual Property Officer JAMES DERRY wrote, "We are writing to you regarding two separate issues because you are identified as the administrator for the Internet domain name, www.listenlonger.com. This domain name leads to a website that lists 'ratings and rankings for major KC area radio stations.' Regarding the first issue, ARBITRON respectfully requests that you immediately cease and desist from asking individuals to identify people that are carrying PPM devices, and from trying to contact you with this information. Your actions tortiously interferes with ARBITRON’s relationships with these panelists. Similarly, your actions tortiously interferes with ARBITRON’s relationships with our subscribers. Any action that tries and/or influences a PPM panelist’s listening behavior or reveals the identity of a PPM panelist is strictly prohibited."
The letter concludes by writing, "ARBITRON will take the necessary actions to protect our brand and our rights, and will not hesitate to do so. Please respond immediately, or provide information about the counsel retained that ARBITRON should interact with."
Responding to ALL ACCESS, CHRIS LOVE said, "As a radio outsider, I've long been curious about how the ratings system works and what I can do to support local radio. LISTENLONGER.COM was created to help other radio fans understand this topic, while giving advice on ways to support their favorite station that don't involve carrying a PPM. I believe I've accomplished that and am very proud of the site."
"I found ARBITRON's cease & desist letter to be unnecessarily threatening," continued LOVE. "I was willing to (and did) correct the copyright issues they had with the site, but did not appreciate vague threats of legal action for other 'issues' which broke no law or contract."