“Help is on the way” was the assurance from Arbitron Radio Advisory Council (RAC) Chairman Tom Skinner, from Redwood Empire Stereocasters, regarding project Leapfrog, which Arbitron plans to use to improve its diary market surveys. The RAC has been hearing about Leapfrog for a year, although Arbitron has been working on it longer than that, but it was only revealed publicly last week at the insistence of the RAC.
What little is known publicly about Leapfrog at this point is that it will move diary markets forward in technology by making online and mobile devices the reporting method for people to report listening in what are now called diary markets. Arbitron implemented online diaries a few years back as an alternative for people to report listening, but it was quickly pulled from the field when results proved inferior to what testing had indicated. According to Bill Rose, Arbitron SVP/Marketing, that online reporting system looked pretty good back then, but wouldn’t today, so what’s in the works will be generations ahead.
In the Monday press call following up on last week’s RAC meeting, Rose said further information about Leapfrog will be made public in weeks, not months, but not just yet. But he also warned that the company doesn’t want to overhype it. Implementation will take some time, just as the transition to the Portable People Meter (PPM) did for larger markets.
Speaking of PPM, the next generation PPM 360 is coming, but also without a target date. Rose said it will be fully mobile, not requiring a docking station, and constantly reporting data.