Arb's PPM News Conference: New System, Old Issues
August 15, 2007 at 11:23 AM (PT)
ARBITRON held the first of a series of monthly conference calls TODAY (8/15) to discuss and educate the industry about PPM data. Ironically, the much of the discussion focused on alleviating the same problem that bedeviled diarykeeping -- namely, getting enough quality respondents. What's more, the immediate solution to this issue is the same as it was with diaries: cash bonuses.
The HOUSTON and PHILADELPHIA results were discussed in depth, with concerns and issues touched upon. ARBITRON was adamant that the data was "valid and stable." It was also confirmed that "action has been taken" on some initial problems.
In-Tab is a major concern for radio, and ARBITRON addressed this right away. Saying they've been "much more aggressive in getting rid of poor respondents," ARBITRON did point to summer vacations as a difficulty that hurt certain months.
DEMOGRAPHIC DELIVERY INDEX (DDI) was discussed at length. With some demos difficult to keep using the PPM, bonuses were used. In APRIL, a cash bonus was paid to Black 18-24 Persons in PHILADELPHIA. In MAY, in-person visits were scheduled, and additional bonuses were paid to Men 18-34. Women 18-24 were offered different styles of PPM devices to keep them carrying the meter. In HOUSTON, bonuses were quadrupled in Black 18-24 Persons during AUGUST 2007.
Addressing the effect of lower samples, ARBITRON insisted there is "little correlation between in-tab and listener levels."
Employment is a large driver of ratings in a PPM world. In examining MEMORIAL DAY ratings, employed respondents showed much lower listening levels versus non-employed respondents. Much can be attributed to their non-commute on a holiday and no in-office listening.