Thanks to Pierre Bouvard, Arbitron's President/Sales and Marketing for a personal briefing and an assurance that ARB doesn't like any format's listeners more than others.
He pointed me to the Latest Monthly PPM Client Update to show that it's possible to figure out where those ARB workers are visiting homes of PPM panelists, the places where the index of compliance is falling below the benchmark. (A "DDI" (index) of 100 means that a cell doesn't have to be weighted up or down, because it's in perfect proportion to the age/sex/ethnic groups percentage of the actual population).
Not surprisingly, they are treading the streets of the places where the people in red in the above chart live, to see if with some personal contact they can encourage those folks to carry their meters as much as the average panelist does.
Ask anyone who has ever done a radio station personal appearance, face-to-face contact and personal bonding can make a difference. Hopefully your air personalities and promotional street teams are also "charming, engaging and persuasive" as they meet listeners.
Arbitron may actually like country listeners BETTER than other formats (my statement, not Pierre's, of course), since the 45+ non-ethnic PPM panelists are generally very compliant in carrying their meters above the average, for one example, in Chicago.
All cells over age 45+ actually have to be weighted DOWN in the final sample because of how cooperative they are, which is why no ARB reps need to walk the streets where they live, according to Bouvard. ARB's goal is to have to do as little weighting as possible, of course.
He also passed along a couple other factiods we're learning as a result of metered measurement:
1. 60% of all radio listening by 6-11 year olds is done in the proximity of their parents.
2. Radio's reach (the highest cume stations) every day exceeds that of the daily newspaper:
Longtime "Dr. Diary" at ARB, Ed Cohen adds one more: PPM samples are currently being weighted by more factors than diary samples have traditionally been: "Here are the weighting variables as of today (and of course, there can be some variation by market):
Race/ethnic (black and Hispanic varying by market pops)
Language within Hispanic where available
Presence of children
Telephone status (landline versus cell phone only)"
This is a fact, I can personally attest to: ARB's research staff works very hard to get it right, and are dedicated to working with radio to position our medium and all formats as effectively in the marketplace as we all deserve.
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