Arbitron keeps working on young minority demos


In its monthly Portable People Meter (PPM) client call, Arbitron reported that February was another month of improving metrics for its PPM panels. The problem spots are familiar – 18-34 year old Blacks and Hispanics – although the numbers keep improving.

“In looking at Black Persons 18-34, probably Arbitron’s most challenging demographic, we see sustained improvement, where the average DDI [Designated Delivery Index] in these particular markets has moved from roughly the 82 mark in June of this past year to a substantially higher number in February, 2010,” said Sr. VP Bill Rose as he reported a 94 DDI for the February PPM report.

Philadelphia, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ ND Los Angeles were below benchmark targets for the demo in February, but Rose noted that they showed improvement in the first week of the March PPM survey month.

In fact, the Black DDI of 94 for February was above the 92 reported for the entire 18-34 demo. Hispanic Persons 18-34 came in at an 88 DDI. Boosting the sample for young Hispanics has also been a focus of various sample improvement efforts by Arbitron, including such things as coaching, higher incentive payments and increased recruitment of cell phone only households. Beginning with the March report, Arbitron will include country of origin data for its Hispanic panel component in each market with a significant Hispanic population. Officials noted that data already analyzed show that the country of origin percentages are pretty much in line with US Census information for those markets.

While not mentioning the ratings company’s battles on Capitol Hill over how PPM counts minority audiences, Monday’s presentation did note Arbitron’s proposed changes to its PPM methodology. That would switch all markets to address-based recruiting by the end of 2011 – something currently done only in Houston.

Each month Arbitron pitches some fun facts from its PPM data. In Monday’s call that was data about Major League Baseball broadcasts on radio. When it comes to CUME audience, the New York Yankees are far and away the leader, with the Chicago Cubs #2 and New York Mets #4. From the bottom of the list going up, the teams are the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics.