Arbitron Welcomes House Inquiry Into PPM
June 29, 2009 at 4:48 PM (PT)
The Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has launched an investigation into the Personal People Meter and its reputation for under-representing certain ethnic and age groups, REUTERS reports. In response, ARBITRON stated that it welcomed the opportunity to inform the public of methodology.
In a letter to the FCC, Chairman EDOLPHUS TOWNS stated, "I remain deeply concerned that without deliberate and timely investigations into this matter the increased use of PPM will further threaten the financial viability of minority targeted radio stations ... To date, many of these stations continue to suffer from significant downgrades in ratings, threatening the extent of their programing or even ultimate closure."
While acknowledging that ARBITRON "has made an effort to correct some flaws in implementing the device as part of settlement agreements reached with NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY and MARYLAND," REUTERS reports that he wants to know what the regulatory agency has found from a recent study into the device.'
Responding swiftly, ARBITRON Pres/CEO MICHAEL SKARZYNSKI released the following statement:
ARBITRON welcomes any opportunity to discuss the importance of electronic measurement, the effectiveness of the PPM technology, the value of the data it produces and our disciplined approach to the deployment of the service across the UNITED STATES. ARBITRON looks forward to sharing with the Committee our expertise and insights based on our long history and extensive experience in gathering, distributing and supporting the currency that is used throughout the radio industry by broadcasters, advertisers, and agencies."
The PPM electronic measurement service is currently used in markets to gather detailed information on radio listening habits. As ARBITRON continues to commercialize its PPM service across the country, the company is seeking input from its stakeholders and has already implemented a number of improvements, including more cell-phone only panelists and increased targets for minority listeners in PPM samples.
We maintain an ongoing dialogue with broadcasters, industry groups, advertising agencies, the FCC and Congress as part of our commitment to continuous improvement program for the PPM service and technologies.