Arb Commercializes PPM In Five New Markets
October 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM (PT)
In its monthly PPM update, ARBITRON announced that it will commercialize its PORTABLE PEOPLE METER service in five new local markets. ARBITRON has released radio audience estimates for the SEPTEMBER 2009 PPM survey month (AUGUST 20th - SEPTEMBER 16th) to its subscribers in TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER, ST. LOUIS, DENVER-BOULDER, BALTIMORE and PITTSBURGH.
In addition, audience estimates from the JULY and AUGUST PPM survey months, which ARBITRON had previously released as "pre-currency" information, are now designated as "currency" data. The SPRING 2009 diary-based radio audience report (APRIL 2nd -JUNE 24th) is no longer deemed "currency" for buy/sell transactions.
PPM audience estimates are now the buy/sell "currency" in 25 local markets. These markets account for more than 50% of the estimated radio station revenue in all ARBITRON-rated markets.
On DECEMBER 31st, 2009, ARBITRON plans to commercialize the PPM radio ratings service in PORTLAND, OREGON, SACRAMENTO, CINCINNATI, CLEVELAND, SALT LAKE CITY-OGDEN-PROVO, SAN ANTONIO, KANSAS CITY and LAS VEGAS with the release of the DECEMBER PPM survey report (NOVEMBER 12th - DECEMBER 9th).
Analyzing The September Data
At TODAY's briefing, ARBITRON unveiled data on its SEPTEMBER performance. Overall, the ratings company met almost all of its benchmarks, although there were markets in specific demos that under-performed. However, the ARBITRON executives offering the data were quick to point out that early OCTOBER results in those markets and demos showed definite improvement.
Among the under-performing anomalies were:
* 6+ DDI in CHICAGO and RIVERSIDE of 91 (below the 100 benchmark) and NEW YORK at 96.
* The 18-34 DDI benchmark of 80 was missed in most of the recently commercialized markets such as SAN DIEGO, PHOENIX, TAMPA and DENVER.
* Black 18-34 benchmarks were missed in CHICAGO (69, benchmark 80) and TAMPA (63/70)
* Hispanic benchmarks were almost all met; the only exceptions were RIVERSIDE (76/80)and NASSAU (77/80)
* Overall, In-tab results were not as good as the DDI, but even there, the great majority of those markets that missed the benchmarks were off by no more than 3%.
The full report is here.
VP/Research BETH WEBB attributed the areas where the PPM didn't meet its benchmarks to the lingering effects of the end of summer, when the numbers typically go down. SVP/Marketing BILL ROSE was quick to point out that the early OCTOBER numbers in those markets and demos have shown improvement.
They also reiterated their "Action Plan" to improve the representation of 18-34 blacks. Actions include increasing cell phone-only households to 15% by the end of this year, new PPMs with longer battery lives, increased incentives and in-person coaches to households in markets where the numbers have been lacking.
WEBB noted that while the initial remedies in the Action plan were started in APRIL, "We have added more things over time. We've targeted in-person coaching beyond the top-10 markets within past month."
She also noted that ARBITRON is taking actions to minimize the seasonal drops in response, over the summer and during the Christmas holiday season by adding to the sample to reflect a lower in-tab. Doing so should limit the changes to just a percentage point or two either way.
Other news of note:
* They detailed the extended timeline for the increase in sample to mid-2011, predicting an increase of 8% by the end of 2010 with the final 2%% coming by mid-year 2011. They intimated the cause of the extension to ARBITRON's efforts to speed up the increase of cell phone-only households in the overall sample.
* While the NEW YORK and PHILDEPHIS PPM data wwere rejected for accreditation by the MRC in JANUARY of 2008, none of the other markets uner review have been rejected. ARBITRON continues to work with the MRC to get accreditation in all of its markets.
* ARBITRON's invitation to UNIVISION to encode its stations is still out there; UNIVISION has yet to agree to do it.