FCC Diversity Panel Asks For PPM Investigation
July 29, 2008 at 6:56 AM (PT)
The FCC's Advisory Committee On Diversity For Communications In The Digital Age is asking Chairman KEVIN MARTIN to investigate the PPM's affect on the ratings of minority-oriented stations. The panel voted 8-3 to approve a resolution asking MARTIN to appoint a federal judge to look into the matter.
After the panel's decision, ARBITRON issued a statement saying, "ARBITRON has great respect and appreciation for the work of the FCC and for the critical and unique role that Black-owned and Spanish-language radio provides as a voice for communities across the country. For those reasons we are committed to working together with the FCC and with minority broadcasters in a collaborative and supportive manner. While ARBITRON does not believe that the FCC has jurisdiction over the Company or its operations and assets and consequently lacks the authority to commence a Section 403 investigation, we are committed to continue our voluntary discussions with the FCC and with Black-owned and Spanish-language radio to explain fully the Portable People Meter system.
"ARBITRON's role as an independent research company is to provide stations and advertisers with information that is based on the actual behavior of radio audiences. That is what PPM delivers today. We are confident that a fair understanding of the PPM system will demonstrate that it produces objective, unbiased audience estimates. The PPM is a more reliable survey instrument than the paper and pencil diary, which relies heavily on memory and recall. A paper and pencil ratings method often allows survey participants to overstate, intentionally or unintentionally, the time they spend with individual radio stations.
"Our PPM samples effectively represent the diversity of the markets we measure in terms of age, sex, race, ethnicity and language preference. Overall, Hispanics and African Americans have the highest listening levels in the PPM system. Broadcasters that serve ethnic audiences and who have embraced PPM are succeeding with the timely and detailed data that only PPM can deliver.
"Radio's future depends on electronic measurement to keep pace with similar systems used by other media."