PPM Coalition Hopes FCC Inquiry Will Shed More Light
January 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM (PT)
Late last night, THE PPM COALITION released a statement regarding the FCC's NOI into ARBITRON's PPM service. In it, they wrote:
THE PPM COALITION is very pleased that the FCC has decided to launch a Notice of Inquiry into the accuracy and impact of ARBITRON’s PORTABLE PEOPLE METER service ("PPM"). The commercialization of PPM has resulted in inaccurate and volatile ratings data due to fundamental flaws in the sampling methodology underlying the use of the electronic measurement device. ARBITRON’s failure to adequately address these important flaws in its sampling efforts has resulted in the under counting of minority audiences in the largest markets in the UNITED STATES. Investigations by the Attorneys General in NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY and MARYLAND, resulted in settlement agreements that required corrective action by ARBITRON to address PPM methodology flaws.
The Notice of Inquiry provides the first real opportunity to address these issues at a national level. ARBITRON has now released PPM in fifteen markets across the U.S. and has received MRC accreditation in just two of the fifteen. That fact alone should be cause for concern within the industry and at the FCC.
Minority-owned broadcasters have born the brunt of the economic damage from the impact of PPM, but reliable audience ratings are of vital importance to the entire radio industry. Developing a robust record for the Commission is essential. The inquiry is perhaps the best way to shine further light on the impact of PPM throughout the UNITED STATES.
Arbitron Supports 'Education' -- Not The PPM Coalition
ARBITRON SVP/Press and Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY stuck by his guns regarding THE PPM COALITION, once again saying, "ARBITRON welcomes the opportunity to better educate all parties about our PORTABLE PEOPLE METER service and its advantages over the diary-based system. The FCC Notice of Inquiry will allow us to further explain why a passive, electronic audience measurement service is a valuable tool that can help the radio broadcast industry compete with the emerging digital media in the 21st century.
It is important to note that FCC’s Notice of Inquiry regarding PPM is not the same as the formal investigation demanded by the so-called PPM COALITION.
The Notice of Inquiry is an open proceeding in which any and all parties may express their views on a wide variety of issues. This is very different from a closed, adversarial proceeding before an administrative law judge.
ARBITRON is committed to the MRC process and is actively pursuing accreditation for all PPM markets. The MEDIA RATINGS COUNCIL (MRC) was founded at the behest of Congress to audit and accredit audience measurement services. "