Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Of Skarzynski, Kabrich And PPM Samples (Again)

As Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski “welcomes any opportunity to discuss the importance of electronic measurement, the effectiveness of the PPM technology, the value of the data it produces, and our disciplined approach to the deployment of the service...” and heads to the House Of Representatives for a committee hearing (Oversight and Government Reform) to defend the company's device, sample sizes and fairness to minorities, consultant Randy Kabrich follows up his 2008 study and shows once again that sample size is directly related to PPM success for any but major mass appeal stations.
“One of the reasons that certain formats do not perform well in PPM (certain niche formats like smooth jazz to Hispanic formats) is heavily tied to the amount of sample available. It is all the more critical for Arbitron to have a balanced sample – correctly balanced by age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and socio-economic factors.”

Pity the poor station with a signal problem in even a very small part of their metro survey area or an audience that lives/works in only specific zip + four neighborhoods.

Will ARB work with owners/managers/programmers of these stations to drive their coverage area with a "test meter" to verify that the encoding is being picked up?

What should they do if they find a metered household in a small area within a zip code where an isolated signal issue is going to cost a subscribing station or format lots of revenue for the next 18 to 24 monthly books while they wait for that home to cycle out of the sample?

As Randy says (above) and your humble scribe posits as a result: the only way to assure that any station - ethnic or not - with that problem to get a fair shake over the long-term is for ARB's sample proportionality to be at least three times better than it has ever been, given a sample one third the size of the diary in-tab.

1 comment:

Randy Kabrich said...

Nielsen, with their radio sticker diaries, beat their intabs IN EVERY DEMO by DOUBLE DIGITS.....

Proves you can get a 18-34 sample etc if you are committed to doing it right.