NJBA Supports FCC Investigation Of PPM
May 19, 2009 at 12:09 PM (PT)
NEW JERSEY BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION Pres./CEO PAUL S. ROTELLA, ESQ. has come out in support of the investigation of PPM Methodology launched by the FCC YESTERDAY with the filing of a formal Notice of Inquiry on MONDAY afternoon against ARBITRON.
"We join the FCC in recognizing the absolute need to investigate ARBITRON’s introduction of the unaccredited PERSONAL PEOPLE METER system to measure listenership," said ROTELLA. "We believe that the current PPM ratings measurement system is flawed because of inherent undersampling of many NEW JERSEY counties. PPM results, in their present form, unfairly portray the NEW JERSEY marketplace to the detriment of minority and small to medium market broadcasters in the state relative to their larger market brethren in PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK."
"To demonstrate this fact, consider the disparity in PPM deployment in two adjacent NEW JERSEY counties, MONMOUTH (pop. 588,000) and MIDDLESEX (pop. 732,000). ARBITRON deployed 347 PPMs in MIDDLESEX COUNTY, but only 96 PPMs in MONMOUTH. This represents 261% greater PPM sample size in MIDDLESEX COUNTY, which only has a 25% greater population! Likewise, MORRIS COUNTY (pop. 454,000) has only 87 PPMs collecting listenership data, while its next door neighbor UNION COUNTY (pop. 480,000) has 260 PPMs; an almost 200% greater population. OCEAN COUNTY (pop. 564,000) has no PPMs at all resulting in two different sampling methodologies being used in one NEW JERSEY market."
NJ Has Multiple Embedded Metros
NEW JERSEY is somewhat unique in that two major metros, NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA, dominate its landscape. In the case of OCEAN COUNTY, which ROTELLA points to not having PPM data, that's because MONMOUTH-OCEAN (Market #51) is not a PPM market. MONMOUTH, however, is included in the NEW YORK market, and therefore gets PPM samples.
MIDDLESEX-SOMERSET-UNION (Market #38) is also an embedded metro supported by clients who are home to the three counties in that metro. It was an embedded market under the diary system and it’s an embedded market in the PPM system. All three counties are included in the NEW YORK metro, and therefore have PPM measurement.
ROTELLA summed up, "As a result, all NJ business and community interests could be harmed by ARBITRON’s confusing statements and business practices. Our indigenous marketplace is not being fairly represented by ARBITRON in lumping all of NEW JERSEY’s embedded markets and large minority population into one major metropolitan ratings estimate and then allowing access to county by county or even zip code breakouts of that undersampled data in NEW JERSEY. The FCC recognizes the consequences of ARBITRON’s new approach to gauging listenership data and has taken, in our view, an appropriate next step in investigating its impact across the industry."
ARBITRON had no comment on this matter.