All Access Update: Summer's Affect On PPM
July 29, 2008 at 1:00 PM (PT)
Consultant RANDY KABRICH has pulled out his calculator again, this time questioning PPM In-Tab samples for PHILADELPHIA and HOUSTON for JUNE and the first two weeks of JULY.
"Once again we can see a blatant example of the 'tale of two cities' ... or, rather the 'tale of two methodologies' in a comparison of the sample in both of these markets, commented KABRICH. "In this case, I am referring to the SUMMER drop in the sample. ARBITRON has told us they have taken steps to insure there wouldn't be a significant drop off in sample during the SUMMER weeks like there was last SUMMER. However, it doesn't look like they've done anything in PHILADELPHIA while HOUSTON has improved!"
ARBITRON anticipated this. SVP/Press & Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY told ALL ACCESS on JULY 16th, "There’s even more SUMMER to come. Do not be surprised if these sample metrics decline as we report data for JULY and AUGUST. We expect that to happen given the lifestyle changes that occur in the SUMMER, particularly for a metric such as In-Tab rate. We have built the panels with the goal of delivering solid sample sizes and good representation for key demographics during the SUMMER months despite the anticipated impact of changes in PPM compliance."
So what do the numbers show?
KABRICH said, "Last year the sample dropped 8% from the first week of JUNE to the current week (2nd week of JULY). This year the (daily) sample dropped 12% during this same time period."
In 2007, the 6+ In-Tab for PHILLY over the six week period from the first week in JUNE through the 2nd week of JULY was: 1461, 1429, 1397, 1358, 1312, 1348.
This year, the 6+ In-Tab for PHILLY over the same six week period was: 1815, 1730, 1722, 1702, 1678, 1600.
So both years do show a down trend, however, 2008 -- while trending down during the SUMMER -- remains above ARBITRON's stated In-Tab goal for the market -- which is 1530.
Meanwhile In Houston... Summer Has A Lesser Impact
"Another great example of the differences in the two PPM methodologies, continued KABRICH, "last year in HOUSTON there was 7% drop in the daily sample from JUNE week 1 to the current week (JULY week 2). This year that drop has lessened significantly and is just 2% ... that's a 71% decrease in SUMMER sample attrition.
It should be noted though, that ARBITRON points to it's 101 DDI in HOUSTON, with all six weeks in question remaining above their target of 1361 6+ In-Tab.