Arbitron Denies NABOB Call For Slower PPM Rollout
August 17, 2007 at 9:27 AM (PT)
ARBITRON has quickly responded to The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK OWNED BROADCASTERS' (NABOB) suggestion that ARBITRON postpone rolling out PPM to new markets until it corrects "significant flaws" in its methodology. Their response: Thanks for expressing your opinion, but all systems are still go.
That may not sit especially well to NABOB. “ARBITRON has issued several months of PPM data, and it is clear, not just to our members, but to the radio industry as a whole, that this new technology is flawed,” said NABOB Executive Dir. JIM WINSTON. “We have seen all radio audiences decline, and Urban radio station audiences decline significantly, under PPM."
...it is clear, not just to our members, but to the radio industry as a whole, that this new technology is flawed.
ARBITRON held a conference call WEDNESDAY (NET NEWS 8/15), where in-tab was a major topic of conversation -- especially concerning young urban listeners. As ALL ACCESS reported, 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.
NABOB claims 18-24 and 25-54 African-Americans are under-represented and that software issues with agencies are an issue. NABOB cites a sizeable falloff in national revenues in HOUSTON and PHILADELPHIA.
In a prepared statement, ARBITRON SVP/Press and Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY welcomed NABOB's input, but maintained that the PPM service works, with only minor tweaking needed. "We remain confident in the validity of the PPM service in HOUSTON and PHILADELPHIA. The PPM ratings are not flawed. Major broadcasters have also shown their confidence in the PPM system by continuing to sign long-term contracts for PPM ratings services.
"We will continue to work with NABOB on the issues they have raised," the statement continued. "We will continue to review with all broadcasters the initiatives that are part of our effort to continuously improve the quality of our PPM samples."
MOCARSKY also downplayed any criticism that PPM results are partially responsible for a decline in ad revenue. "One of our goals for PPM is to provide more timely and accountable ratings data," his statement read. "PPM ratings are one tool that the industry can use in their efforts to reverse the widely reported, long-term decline in national ad dollars that started years before PPM was introduced in only two markets."