New Spanish Radio Coalition Takes On PPM, Arbitron Welcomes Dialogue
June 11, 2008 at 3:24 PM (PT)
The most influential Spanish-language radio broadcasters in the U.S., including SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM (SBSA), ENTRAVISION, UNIVISION and BORDER MEDIA PARTNERS, have formed a coalition, THE SPANISH RADIO ASSOCIATION, to voice concerns about ARBITRON’s proposed rollout of the Portable People Meter (PPM). Its chief concern: the potentially harmful impact the PPM could have as it relates to measuring Spanish-language media.
The new group met with ARBITRON on JUNE 6th, where they advocated the importance of properly evaluating the Hispanic audience measurement capabilities and effectiveness of ARBITRON’s PPM before its full-scale implementation. Several key issues that need to be addressed before moving forward with the rollout include panel sample size, the increased response rates, accurately identifying and tracking panelists’ country of origin, improved language weighting, accurate cell phone-only representation, fair measurement when it comes to high-density Hispanic areas and sharing of more detailed sample information including meter placement according to zip codes, among others.
"Ensuring that the next generation of audience measurement is accurately developed, tested, accredited, and ultimately accepted by the entire radio industry, is of critical importance," SBS CEO RAUL ALARCÓN said. "The Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing rapidly and becoming more influential, while Spanish-language radio is becoming one of the most popular formats in the country. With that in mind, ARBITRON must take the necessary steps towards understanding the impact this audience measurement tool will have on one of the industry’s most important constituencies."
The group intends to meet regularly with ARBITRON in an effort to ensure any sample includes accurate measurement of Hispanic audiences in all markets that will be launching PPM as currency.
Arbitron: Willing To Work Together
ARBITRON SVP/Press & Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY responded to the new THE SPANISH RADIO ASSOCIATION announcement by offering the following statement to ALL ACCESS:
"ARBITRON has great respect and appreciation for the important and unique role that Spanish-language radio stations play in communities across the country. We are working closely with Hispanic broadcasters to understand better their priorities for enhancements to our PPM services.
"We believe the ARBITRON Portable People Meter is a reliable and valuable audience research tool that can benefit all segments of the radio industry. Hispanics today are well represented in our PPM panels, by age, by geography and by language preference.
"We appreciate the time that Hispanic broadcasters have devoted to this dialogue. We look forward to the further exchange of ideas and to adding the insights of Spanish-language broadcasters into our continuous improvement programs for the PPM."
Sample Size Issues
ENTRAVISION RADIO President JEFFREY LIBERMAN, after reading ARBITRON's response, told ALL ACCESS, "This is pretty much what we expected in a response. In our on-going discussions with ARBITRON, we left them with 12 major issues concerning PPM, and the biggest is panel size.
"If the panel is too small it's impossible to dissect the sample by Hispanic or non-Hispanic, and then break it down into age cells. The numbers are far too small. And, ARBITRON only does language weighting on 12+ numbers, yet, in PPM they rate 6+. I am convinced that Hispanics have different listening habits at different ages."