Houston: Is its methodology better or not?


In our RBR exclusive PPM Roundtable, Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil pressed Arbitron President of Sales and Marketing Pierre Bouvard on what it would take for Arbitron to use the PPM panel recruitment methodology it developed with Nielsen for Houston in all PPM markets. If there is a price tag for that, Bouvard dogged naming it, but repeatedly stated that telephone-only recruitment is the best way to recruit a large sample. And while Neil suggested that using the Houston methodology, which is MRC accredited, would guarantee accreditation of PPM elsewhere, Initiative Media EVP of Local Broadcast Janice Finkel-Greene took him to task, saying it is not that simple.

“What would it take for you guys to roll out the Houston methodology in all of the other markets?” Neil asked Bouvard.

“It’s something that the industry, the radio what the industry said to us, our marching orders were are give us the biggest possible sample for the least possible cost. The best way to do that is with the phone frame methodology and that’s how we get a panel that’s two to three times bigger than Nielsen in New York,” the Arbitron executive replied, declining to name a price for using the Houston recruitment plan in all markets.

Neil has repeatedly said that he would be satisfied if Arbitron would take the Houston recruitment methodology and use it in all PPM markets. “If Arbitron said we’ll take the Houston accredited methodology and that will be the system that we will use going forward that would be it, it’s accredited,” Neil said.

“Absolutely not.  That’s not how it works.  We’d still have to look at all of the data.  We’d have to look at all of the metrics.  Each market has to stand on its own — that’s how it works,” said Finkel-Greene.

RBR/TVBR observation: The exclusive roundtable conference you will hear the exchange between Neil and Bouvard.  But the entire discussion between broadcaster, agency, and the ratings company sheds a touch more light on the PPM issue. Listen, you decide and drop us your viewpoint at [email protected].

The exclusive discussion is located on the Media Center at RBR.com.