Arbitron, Advisory Council Target 18-34s In Cell-Phone-Only Market Push
November 13, 2008 at 3:34 PM (PT)
Improving the quality of 18-34 data was of paramount importance in the ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL's conference call, held earlier TODAY. Not only did outgoing Chairman CHUCK DUCOTY emphasize the importance of improving 18-34 numbers not only in the PPM, but in the diary, but ARBITRON announced an aggressive outreach to cell-phone-only households in 50 diary markets, starting in SPRING 2009.
The cell-phone-only household outreach will expand to an additional 75 diary markets for the FALL 2009 survey. The major goal is to eventually sample cell-phone-only households in all diary markets. Once ARIBITRON sees results from the SPRING and FALL surveys they will release dates of when the other diary markets will be added.
I make no bones about it -- when you look at 18-34 metrics, it's pretty frightening. These 50 markets ... needed some help. The CPO work and other treatments go a long way towards [improving] that.
The 40 markets chosen for the SPRING 2009 expansion, according to DUCOTY, were the markets that needed the improvements in 18-34 data the most. ARBITRON expects they'll most likely benefit from the addition of cell-phone-only sampling. Click here for a listing of the markets.
Arbitron As Robin Hood
During the conference call, DUCOTY was anything but subtle about the need to improve 18-34 data, especially in the diaries. "I make no bones about it -- when you look at 18-34 metrics, it's pretty frightening," he said. "These 50 markets chosen for SPRING 2009, when you looked at their 18-34 sample, needed some help. We think the CPO work and other treatments go a long way towards [improving] that."
One way ARBITRON plans on doing that is by taking sampling premiums away from 54+ and redistributing to younger demos. "It's a Robin Hood effect in a way,' DUCOTY observed. "Taking from the old and giving to the young."
As proof of ARBITRON's willingness to improve its data, he cited sample guarantees in 18-54 by the FALL of 2008 and 18-34 benchmarks by SEPT. '09, and also noted that ARBITRON has been exceeding its PPM benchmarks so well they can concentrate more on diary improvements.
"Out Of Our Hands"
Two pressing issues were deemed out of the ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL's purview. One is MRC accreditation. Outside of urging ARBITRON to continue in its efforts to achieve it, "the process itself is out of our hands." The other is the current legal imbroglio between ARBITRON and the State Attorneys General over the veracity of PPM data.
When asked by ALL ACCESS if the ADVISORY COUNCIL could reach out to the Spanish radio groups that are supporting the AG lawsuits to ostensibly clear up what may be misunderstandings about PPM's viability in Spanish and Urban radio monitoring, DUCOTY said the COUNCIL could get involved if it was called in to testify about the PPM as "expert witnesses ... but beyond that, no."