NY Congressman Weighs In On Investigating PPM
July 10, 2009 at 9:18 AM (PT)
Rep. EDOPHUS "ED" TOWNS (D-NY) who serves as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently told BET, "I have launched an investigation into widespread complaints that ARBITRON’s new ratings system, the PORTABLE PEOPLE METER (PPM), inaccurately measures the listening preferences of survey participants, which leads to lower ratings for minority-focused radio stations.
"One concern is that the device picks up signals where the device is carried, but it does not pick up the listening preferences when the device is docked at home, which distorts listener preferences. I have also heard concerns that ARBITRON does not adequately sample cell phone-only households; therefore, the preferences of minority listeners might not be accurately recorded.
"As part of this investigation, I have also written a letter to FCC Chairman MICHAEL COPPS, asking him to provide me with the findings of an investigation that the Commission recently launched into the new ratings system. I have also directed Chairman COPPS to provide me with the roll-out schedule that the FCC has imposed on ARBITRON as it introduces this rating system into homes around the country.
"Given the important implications of ratings accuracy to the future of minority community-focused radio, we need to ensure that ARBITRON gets this right. My Committee will make this a priority until we are satisfied that the new ratings system gives minority listeners the standing they deserve."