Kabrich questions summer sample disparity


Radio consultant and frequent Portable People Meter critic Randy Kabrich has been looking at the latest PPM data from Houston and Philadelphia and finds new reason to question whether the “radio first” recruitment methodology now in use for all PPM markets except Houston is inferior to the original.

“Once again we can see a blatant example of the ‘tale of two cities’ … or, rather the ‘tale of two methodologies’ in a comparison of the sample in both of these markets. In this case, I am referring to the Summer drop in the sample. Arbitron has told us they have taken steps to insure there wouldn’t be a significant drop off in sample during the Summer weeks like there was last Summer. However, it doesn’t look like they’ve done anything in Philadelphia while Houston has improved!” Kabrich said.

“Philadelphia: Last year the sample dropped 8% from the first week of June to the current week (2nd week of July). This year the (daily) sample dropped 12% during this same time period — a 50% increase in Summer sample attrition despite measures Arbitron has taken to prevent a Summertime sample drop.

Houston: Another great example of the differences in the two PPM methodologies. Last year in Houston there was 7% drop in the daily sample from June week1 to the current week (July week2). This year that drop has lessened significantly and is just 2% … that’s a 71% decrease in Summer sample attrition.

This is one more thing we can add to the list of differences in the results produced by the two different methodologies used in these two markets,” Kabrich concluded.

An Arbitron spokesman told RBR/TVBR the company could not comment until it had an opportunity to examine Kabrich’s analysis, but noted Arbitron’s recent commitment to increase 12+ samples in all PPM markets.