Arb Radio Advisory Board Sees Progress; But Supports PPM Rollout Before Accreditation
December 5, 2007 at 12:12 PM (PT)
The ARBITRON RADIO ADVISORY COUNCIL held a conference call for this afternoon at 2:30p ET. RAC Chairman STEVE SINICROPI (VP/GM at COX RADIO/GREENSBORO) and RAC Vice Chairman CHUCK DUCOTY (NRG MEDIA COO) hosted.
First order of business was to announce that CHUCK DUCOTY had been elected Chairman, and CBS/SEATTLE Market Mgr. LISA DECKER was elected Vice Chairman. SINICROPI described the latest round of meetings with ARBITRON as "very productive,"
In a statement released by the Council, they wrote, "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 accreditation process is very important, but if we wait for it in each market, some of us could be long retired before it happens.
The Council writes "significant progress" has been made in the following areas:
* 18-54 guarantee - As a first and immediate step, the Council welcomes ARBITRON’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%.
* Sample improvement metrics by JANUARY 18th, 2008 -- We look forward to seeing ARBITRON’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 ARBITRON’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.
• 12+ Recalibration - ARBITRON acknowledged the Council’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.
• Pursue MRC accreditation, but don’t wait -- The Council supports ARBITRON’s plans to continue to pursue and then maintain MRC accreditation in all commercialized PPM markets without slowing the PPM rollout process.
• Diary Czar -- The Council welcomes ARBITRON’s appointment of TOM O’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.
• 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.
MRC accreditation is a sticking point with many in the industry, and the ADVISORY BOARD sided with ARBITRON's continued rolling out of markets, while still working on getting the accreditation. "We don't want to slow the process down," said DUCOTY. "The accreditation process is very important, but if we wait for it in each market, some of us could be long retired before it happens."