In Wake Of NY AG Moves, More PPM Questions Arise
September 10, 2008 at 6:06 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 9/9), NEW YORK STATE Attorney General ANDREW CUOMO announced he was investigating ARBITRON's PPM ratings system, which Black and Hispanic broadcasters warn could put some Urban and Spanish stations out of business. CUOMO's announcement followed months of pressure from minority radio owners, including INNER CITY BROADCASTING and a coalition of Spanish broadcasters.
ARBITRON SVP/Investor And Press Relations THOM MOCARSKY provided this statement regarding CUOMO's actions:
The company maintains that its PORTABLE PEOPLE METER radio ratings service is fair, reliable and fully represents the diversity of NEW YORK radio markets. The media industry has demanded a more precise and credible measurement tool for radio just as they have for other media.
If PPM is more accurate than diary, as Arbitron maintains, one has to ask why MRC audits keep the diary method accredited with statistical validity, while Arbitron has been unable to obtain MRC accreditation in PPM telephone recruitment markets.
* The participants in the ARBITRON PORTABLE PEOPLE METER (PPM) radio ratings services are as representative of the population of NEW YORK as diary respondents are TODAY;
* The difference between PPM ratings and diary ratings is a function of the survey tool, not the sample. PPM collects actual exposure; the diary, recall-based "habitual" behavior;
* The paper-and-pencil diary allows loyal listeners, of any and all formats, to overstate their habitual listening;
* Broadcasters of all formats, including Urban and Hispanic, who have embraced PPM, have improved their audiences and their standing in the marketplace;
* ARBITRON will continue to adhere to the MEDIA RATING COUNCIL Voluntary Code of Conduct and will continuously strive to improve the PPM radio ratings service.
"The media industry should be concerned about the attempts to supplant or short-circuit the MEDIA RATING COUNCIL accreditation process. The MRC was founded at the behest of CONGRESS. Throughout its 40-plus years of service, the MRC has been a driving force behind the vast quality improvements in the ratings services that research companies have been delivering to the advertising and media industries," said ARBITRON Chairman/Pres./CEO STEVE MORRIS.
So, Why Is The Diary Accredited -- While PPM, In Most Markets, Is Not?
On the MRC's website, the following ARBITRON services are listed as accredited:
* Continuous, Condensed and Standard Radio Market Reports (excluding PUERTO RICO)
* County Coverage Service
* Custom Survey Area Reports
* Houston Personal Portable Meter (PPM)
* Radio Average Quarter Hour Monthly Data
* Television Time Period Data
* Media Professional
* Qualitative Diary Service
* RADAR® (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research)
* RADAR® PC 2010 Electronic Delivery
Only the HOUSTON PPM has the MRC's blessing, and that ongoing lack of PPM accreditation has Consultant RANDY KABRICH back in the mood to ask some tough questions.
He wrote ALL ACCESS, saying "If PPM is more accurate than diary, as ARBITRON maintains, one has to ask why MRC audits keep the diary method accredited with statistical validity, while ARBITRON has been unable to obtain MRC accreditation in PPM telephone recruitment markets. The continued accreditation for diaries and the continued rejection of MRC accreditation for PPM tells us there is more to this story than what ARBITRON is spinning."