A total of 33 markets now have Portable People Meter ratings data as currency, with eight markets added with the release of the December report. Media Rating Council accreditation remains elusive (still only two markets), but Arbitron claimed in its monthly PPM conference call that metrics improved again in the most recent month.
The latest PPM markets are Portland, OR; Sacramento; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Kansas City; and Las Vegas.
As more markets come onboard, the Arbitron staff has quite a bit of experience with launching new markets, so the metrics for new markets appear to be pretty close to those of long established PPM markets. What the company is focusing on now is pitching the success of its continuous improvement efforts and how they are playing out in problem demos.
Sr. VP Bill Rose proudly noted that across the 33 markets all subsections of the key 18-34 demo were above a designated delivery index (DDI) of 90 in December. “We’re not at the promised land yet,” he said but Arbitron is getting closer to 100 in that young demo.
In fact, the success in 18-34 recruitment prompted one participant in the teleconference to ask what’s being done about the 35-44 demo. It seems that the increased focus on 18-34, including more cell phone only (CPO) households has adversely affected 35-44. VP Beth Webb noted that 18-34 year-olds tend to live in households with other 18-34 year-olds or with their parents, who would generally be over 45. So, Arbitron is adding questions in Q1 in its recruiting to identify households with 35-44 year-olds to help fill that gap, but it will take a while for the impact to be felt.
Arbitron is celebrating the success of its CPO recruiting for PPM panels, with hit the 15% target in December. Webb noted that because so many 18-34 year-olds are in CPO households, that 15% overall produced 26% of the 18-34 households. The overall target for CPO recruitment in PPM markets will increase to 20% by the end of 2010.