Arbitron hails another month of PPM improvement


Questions about accreditation and its ongoing negotiations with various state attorneys general and the US Congress were off-limits as Arbitron executives reported on November statistics for its Portable People Meter (PPM) operations, now in 25 markets with eight more set to have PPM as currency in one more month. Accentuating the positive, they claimed in a monthly call with clients and the trade press that Arbitron’s continuous improvement program is paying off.

VP Bill Rose noted that the Designated Delivery Index (DDI) for Persons 6+ in all 25 markets averaged 106 for the November survey. More importantly, the DDI was 90 or better for all segments of the 18-34 demo. It was 92 for Persons 18-34, 90 for Black 18-34, 93 for Hispanic 18-34 and 91 for Other 18-34. As for the eight markets coming into the PPM world next month for buying and selling spots, all are already above the benchmarks for the first year of PPM service.

Nancy Weissman, who heads the PPM continuous improvement program for Arbitron, detailed how over 60 different initiatives have been used to improve PPM panel performance. “This is just a start,” she said. As for the improvement in in-tab rates in recent months, she said “we believe they are sustainable.

With a growing number of markets being measured by PPM, the staff working on improving panel compliance and sample performance was recently restructured into geographic regions. That, Weissman said, is to keep the staff more focused on achieving improvement in the specific markets they are now assigned to work on.

RBR-TVBR observation: Arbitron could get to 100% or better on all of its targets and the data still wouldn’t have as much impact as getting those double-checks from the Media Rating Council on a few more markets.