Advertisers, agencies back PPM encoding


Following its April meeting, agency and advertiser members of the Arbitron Advertiser/ Agency Advisory Council announced a consensus recommendation regarding stations encoding in PPM markets. The Council encourages every station in each scheduled PPM market to encode its broadcast signals for PPM measurement.

“Whether or not to subscribe to the service is an individual decision for each station. However, because there is no cost to encode, the Council recommends that each station do so,” said the Council. “The Council believes that encoding will give all advertisers, marketers, agencies, and broadcasters an enhanced ability to understand and evaluate radio.”

Arbitron currently uses PPM as currency radio ratings in 15 markets with an additional 18 markets scheduled to commercialize through the rest of the year.

This resolution has been developed, approved and endorsed by the Arbitron Advertiser/Agency Advisory Council whose members are:

Brad Adgate, Director, Horizon Media
Kyle Allen, Senior Vice President, Fogarty Klein
Jon Cogan, Director, Investment Research and Insights, OMD
Ken Deutsch, Media Director, Grupo Gallagos
Janice Finkel-Greene, EVP, Futures and Technology, Initiative
Stan Gerber, EVP Media Director, JL Media
Susan Hirsch, Local Media Services Manager, RPA
Jim Irvine, Senior Director, Media Strategies, Lopez Negrete
Helen Katz, Starcom Mediavest Group Betty Kuphal, Coca-Cola
George Mafredas, Partner, Director of Research, Mindshare
John Maher, SVP, Director of Planning, US International Media
Dennis McGuire, VP/Local Broadcast Group Director, CARAT
Shannon Pedersen, Local Media Manager, Subway
Sam Sotiriou, EVP, Director of Strategic Resources, Zenith Optimedia
Gail Warren, Associate Media Director, Burrell

We asked Finkel-Greene: How are stations hurting themselves that choose not to encode?
“In today’s marketplace, it’s hard to value and hard to sell radio time without audience estimates.”

RBR/TVBR observation: Many stations are quite strapped for cash right now, as we all know. While some have to wonder about the stations that choose not to pay for Arbitron’s service in those markets, what the value of encoding might be — they cannot sell Arbitron numbers without subscribing. However, encoding equipment and set-up is paid for by Arbitron, and as Finkel-Greene implied, national spot buyers may just decide not to use a station without PPM data. So unless you are very satisfied with your local on the street sales, you should probably encode.