Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not What Arbitron Needed Today

Dr. Barry Blesser, Director of Engineering, 25-Seven Systems just released a report which claims that although ARB's PPM 'can be expected to be extremely reliable when tested under "typical" conditions...there may be real-world scenarios that dramatically degrade PPM performance,' and encouraging 'radio stations that believe their listenership has been inaccurately reported by the PPM system may wish to determine if their context deviates from the assumptions upon which the PPM system is designed.'

Could "listening in a noisy environment or with the monitor positioned to receive only a muffled signal, increasing the likelihood that the PPM monitor will not correctly detect the stations' ID..." include inside a woman's purse? If so, could that explain why female listening to radio appears to be much lower as reported in PPM than it is in the diary ratings or why early morning listening levels are also so much lower?


Facebook Thread said...

Chuck Nance: ..begging the question of which is more acrid: Arb's coffee this morning -OR- what we have to eat because they're the only game in town?

Dick Downes: Women and their purses: can't live with 'em; better numbers without 'em.

rjv said...

The best thing about Blesser’s report is that it spurs Arbitron to do what they should have been doing all along. If they're going to build confidence in PPM, they’re going to have to open the kitchen. The sensitivity of the meter under specific listening conditions is one thing. Non-response bias is another—how do the format preferences of non-compliant respondents compare with respondents who maintain 100% compliance? As part of their settlement with the NY and NJ Attorneys General in January, Arbitron was to complete a non-response bias study in the New York market by July 15 of this year. It’s August 20. Where are the results? The longer Arbitron keeps us in the dark on these issues, the more doubt will be cast on what is otherwise the most important step forward for an industry desperately in need of bold steps forward.