Radio One had been encoding for PPM in Houston and Philadelphia, but not buying the data. Now, with PPM on the horizon for Los Angeles, Radio One has signed a group deal with Arbitron covering the next five years for all 16 of its markets, including 15 that have or will have PPM.
Amid complaints being voiced that Urban and Spanish stations have suffered the biggest ratings drops in the conversion from diaries to PPM, Arbitron was careful to include quotes in its announcement from Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins citing the upside of PPM for Urban stations. He noted in particular the evidence that stations targeting people with jobs tend to be the most listened to under PPM measurement. "Electronic measurement is providing compelling evidence about the power of Urban radio to reach and engage the African American consumer. It is also demonstrating the ‘working persons’ advantage that Urban radio offers marketers who want to reach the brand conscious and brand loyal African-American consumer," Liggins said. He also commended Arbitron for taking steps to address the concerns of Urban broadcasters about PPM measurement.
RBR observation: Arbitron is meeting with the New York City Council today to try to allay fears that PPM will negatively affect ratings and revenues for stations targeting minority audiences. PPM is currently gathering audience data in the New York Metro, but only in a pre-currency mode. Before the company arranged today’s meeting to explain the methodology, Arbitron had been publicly attacked by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who demanded that the company halt or delay PPM implementation. We note that similar objections were heard when Nielsen began rolling out Local People Meter measurement for television in the largest markets, but that uproar died down as broadcasters and ad buyers adjusted to the ratings changes. (Note: Yesterday’s MRB indicated that Radio One had previously subscribed to PPM in Philadelphia, but Arbitron later corrected that information. Radio One has only been encoding in both Houston and Philadelphia.)