PPM embraced in Canada, dropped in UK


RAJAR, the consortium that measures radio audiences in the UK, announced that it is ending its Portable People Meter (PPM) test and will focus instead on gathering radio audience data via online diaries. But Arbitron also got a big endorsement for PPM yesterday, with BBM Canada accepting a joint bid by Arbitron and TNS Media Research to deploy PPM for measuring both radio and television in Canada.

The Canadian action means that the world’s largest combined TV/radio meter panel will be launched in our neighbor to the north. “BBM blazed the trail in portable measurement when it adopted PPM for TV audience currency in Montreal and Quebec in 2004. since then the system has been adopted as currency in a number of countries so we are delighted that the PPM is ‘coming home’ to the rest of Canada,” said Richard Marks, Global Head, TNS Media Research. BBM selected the Arbitron/TNS bid after 10 months of evaluating bids from three organizations, as well as the joint Arbitron/TNS proposal.

PPM had won an initial competition as RAJAR selected it over other passive audience measurement systems for a test run in the UK. But after running a pilot program for a year, the UK consortium has pulled the plug on further spending on PPM, effective at the end of June. Difficulty with panel compliance, “particularly at breakfast time,” was cited by RAJAR Managing Director Sally de la Bedoyere.  

“We appreciate RAJAR’s diligence and the discipline they brought to the evaluation of competing electronic measurement systems. (After all, they chose to pilot our system over all the others in the world.) Given their desire to have one methodology to measure all markets, large and small, we certainly understand that ‘audimeters’ (as they call them) are not an appropriate and affordable solution for their unique requirements,” said Arbitron in a statement to RBR/TVBR.