Arbitron Fires Back At Media Audit's Smart Phone Tests
March 29, 2006 at 6:44 AM (PT)
It's become a no-holds-barred war of words in the court of public opinion as ARBITRON launches a salvo at MEDIA AUDIT's press release "THE MEDIA AUDIT RELEASES MORE INFO ABOUT HOUSTON TESTS" which was on yesterday's NET NEWS (3/28).
ARBITRON VP/Communications THOM MOCARSKY fires back: "ARBITRON would like to take this opportunity to reiterate how well the PPM performs among Blacks and Hispanics. According to the HOUSTON trial, African-Americans and Hispanics carry their PPM devices almost exactly as long per day as the general market. African-Americans, Spanish-dominant Hispanics, English Dominant Hispanics, and other persons all carry the PPM for about 14 and a half to fifteen hours a day.
"If you are reading a press release by another research company, please also note that all generic references to "the meter" must be read as THEIR proposed (and untested) meter, not the ARBITRON PPM.
"Throughout the development of the PPM, ARBITRON has conducted a number of studies that address how people carry the PPM and reported these studies at the ARF and other industry forums. (Please keep this information in mind when evaluating claims of `first-ever' and any claims of `listening holes.')"
MOCARSKY's release draws on ARBITRON's own studies: "In APRIL-MAY 2003, ARBITRON conducted a study that addressed a wide range of questions about the `media lifestyle compatibility' of one radio meter `the portable people meter or PPM' for measuring consumers’ use of radio throughout the day. Are the people who agree to join a PPM panel representative of the general population in terms of their media lifestyles? Do their daily activities interfere with electronic radio measurement? (Note that this study was conducted among real PPM respondents, not among tame `friends and families.')
"The study found similar media lifestyle profiles for the PPM panelists in the PHILADELPHIA market trial and the general population. Also, the PPM panelists reported little trouble keeping their meters with them, both overall and during the key morning daypart. When compared to self-reported diary entries, it appears likely that the PPM improves data precision in ways that could explain observed differences between the two methods, especially in the morning daypart. On balance, ARBITRON was able to conclude that electronic measurement of radio using the PPM system does in fact fit today's consumer media lifestyles."
The release concludes, "This study was presented at an ARF conference in 2004. (Apparently, MEDIA AUDIT skipped that session.)"