Monday, August 10, 2009

Spotlight: Ask Linda Norfleet

Question: Arbitron Inc, which is the measurement company for radio listenership across the country, is making a switch from consumers filling out a daily diary to a Portable People Meter. What is this and how will it impact the radio industry?

Answer: The PPM (portable people meter) is a small devise about the size of a pager that will be clipped to the panelist’s clothing. It will read encoded audio signals from radio stations based on what station is playing in the vicinity of the panelist. At night it will be “docked” in a charger that sends information to a central data collection site. According to Arbitron Inc, the new PPM system will be more reliable, credible and timely with information provided to radio stations, ad agencies and direct advertisers. Results will be more consistent from month to month. Credibility will be formed as listeners will not need to remember what stations they are listening to, since the information is automatically recorded through their PPM devise. PPM data will be refreshed each month so audience listenership will be continuously be updated. While overall radio listenership will not change, audience levels will be lower as diary keepers tended to over-report routine listening.

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