Harker Blog: What's Arbitron Hiding With The PPM?
July 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM (PT)
While ARBITRON is touting its new, improved PPM 360 rollout, HARKER RESEARCH is looking behind the curtain in its latest post on its "Radio Insite" blog. GLENDA SHRADER BOS and RICHARD HARKER are bothered by some unanswered questions
"This roll-out continues ARBITRON’s efforts to put a happy face on PPM while keeping broadcasters in the dark about far more critical issues, all more important than whether the meter should have a sculpted look," the blog noted. "...Even today, important technical aspects of PPM that directly impact your ratings are shrouded in dark inky mystery, hidden from view."
They then take issue with ARBITRON's claim that listening duration is ended by turning off the radio and not surfing. "ARBITRON has never released test results regarding capture reliability of the meter," they assert. "Can ARBITRON prove that panelists are really turning off the radio, or is there a problem with the meters?
"Then there is the issue of ARBITRON’s refusal to let broadcasters see listening patterns, so-called respondent level data. Diary market stations can go to ARBITRON headquarters and look at the diaries. There is no equivalent with PPM, yet ARBITRON could easily create a PPM Mechanical similar to the diary mechanical ... The only explanation is that ARBITRON doesn't want you to see what’s really going on with panelists."
Read the entire treatise here.