Arbitron Conference Call: PPM Hitting The Benchmarks
August 13, 2008 at 2:12 PM (PT)
In its latest conference call to 178 attendees, ARBITRON offered yet another good report card of sorts when it came to the PPM meetings its appointed benchmarks. They presented data for the month of JULY that showed all markets exceeding total sample benchmarks and the 18-54 guarantee, and labeled the progress they've made in strengthening the sample, DDI and in-tab as being "faster than anticipated."
ARBITRON officials cited continued improvement in the 18-34 sample performance, and strong sample metrics for Hispanics and blacks. In fact, the PPM met or exceeding 56 of 57 (98%) 18-34 discrete DDI benchmarks across 10 markets. And to compensate for the seasonal summer drop-off in participation, all markets have been over-installed.
In JULY, finding the areas where the PPM missed were few and far between. For instance in DDI, the only demo that didn't meet its benchmark was 18-34 Hispanic in NASSAU-SUFFOLK ... and it didn't miss by much. In-tab results were almost as good; a handful of categories in just a few markers failed to meet the benchmarks, but even those numbers were increasing and coming closer to their respective benchmarks.
Whether this data has helped ARBITRON secure MRC accreditation for the PPM in markets other than HOUSTON is still not known. ARBITRON officials would only say that the evaluation is ongoing and there's no news to report.
Dabbling In Digital
What was new during this conference call was the release of the first data concerning digital radio --excluding Net-only stations and podcasts. As to be expected, the digital radio audience is largely at-work, older (25-54), and more educated.
In terms of numbers, only a handful of stations met the .495 weekly cume requirement to register. They were:
WBEB -- .5 in PHILADELPHIA
WPLJ -- .7 in MIDDLESEX
WLTW -- .6 in NASSAU
KDAY -- .6 in RIVERSIDE
Raising The Sample
In fact, the biggest challenge facing ARBITRON is in raising the sample guarantee 10% by 2010, as desired by the ADVISORY COUNCIL (NET NEWS, x/x). Basically, the ratings firm is considering two options -- removing the 6-11 demo completely and reallocating that sample, or retaining the kids' demo and just adding 12+.
There are flies in both ointments. To do the former correctly, ARBITRON will have to do new testing to make sure the reallocation wouldn't detrimentally impact the 18-34 and ethnic representations. Doing the latter option correctly would entail that ARBITRON generate new revenue to offset the costs required to increase the 12+ sample -- without raising the price for its clientele.
Houston, Philadelphia Reporting For PPM Duty
Also coming from ARBITRON today is the JULY PPM data for HOUSTON and PHILADELPHIA. Get the results now in the ALLACCESS.COM ARBITRON section. Additionally, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO and SAN FRANCISCO received their first "pre-currency" info, with SEPTEMBER the scheduled arrival time for the first PPM release in those markets.
CLEAR CHANNEL/LOS ANGELES RVP GREG ASHLOCK said, "It's a big step in the right direction with data based on actual listening versus recall. I think the end result will be a better product for listeners and increased confidence from the ad community. The tremendous cume pops reinforces what we've alwyas known: Radio reaches 95% of the population on a weekly basis. "