There’s no response yet from Arbitron to the letter from Clear Channel, Cox Radio, Cumulus Media, Inner City, Radio One and Saga calling for raised targets for PPM and a deadline for MRC accreditation. However, PPM supporter Dan Mason, CEO of CBS Radio, has issued a statement restating his company’s confidence in Arbitron and PPM.
“We do not believe that delaying commercialization of PPM data is in the best interest of the industry. We support the new methodology and have every confidence in Arbitron that they will continue to improve the service and deliver us information that will help elevate our accountability with our clients,” Mason said.
“We agreed with some of the points in the letter but not all of them. We continue to push Arbitron in our own way to make more progress in the areas of sample size for under 35 demos and minorities; response and compliance rates,” said Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings.
The letter (read it here) from the six groups did not seek another delay in the PPM rollout, but rather accepted the decision by Arbitron to resume the rollout. It made four proposals for Arbitron to agree to which the six companies said would improve their confidence in PPM, including a deadline for MRC accreditation of June 30, 2009.
Arbitron Radio Advisory Council Chairman Chuck DuCoty, COO of NRG Media, noted that other than the accreditation deadline, the issues raised by the letter are pretty much the same ones that the RAC has been pressing Arbitron on. He told RBR the RAC believes sample size is critical and, as reported several times before, has been pressing Arbitron to reallocate PPM meters assigned to the 6-11 demo to 12+. The RAC has not demanded MRC accreditation as a precondition for rolling out PPM markets, so long as Arbitron is aggressively pursuing accreditation.
“The issues as I see them, sample size and sample distribution, are not necessarily resolved, nor do I feel they’re resolved, by MRC accreditation,” DuCoty said. He noted that most broadcasters are dissatisfied with sample size in Arbitron diary markets, and those markets are MRC accredited. “Accreditation has done nothing to help their sample issues,” he said.