You read correctly: Clear Channel is on board with PPM in their top 50 markets. News of the deal was posted on the Wall Street Journal website in the wee hours of Saturday morning and, within a few hours, AP and Reuters also declared it a done deal.
As for Arbitron, a spokesman told RBR over the weekend that the company as yet had no official comment. But we're expecting Clear Channel and Arbitron to make it official today that they have agreed on a multi-year contact ending a long-running battle between the parties; however, the juiciest details are likely to remain off the public record. Previously, Clear Channel had only signed up for PPM in Philadelphia, just before it became ratings currency for the market. This new deal clears the way for radio to move forward with PPM.
SmartMedia observation: With Clear Channel working on closing their deal to take the company private, it was just a matter of time before this deal was struck. Why? Business dictates and the fact that Technology Waits For No One, including Clear Channel (a company that just does not carry the clout it once did). Ad clients and, more importantly, ad agencies have demanded radio move into the 21st century to electronic measurement. PPM is proving to show a different and new wave of radio audience listening habits which was recently demonstrated with the May Philadelphia PPM data. If you have not reviewed the stats, here they are again. There is a lot of valuable data in this special report in RBR. See the chart here 06/21/07 RBR #121 . With this deal now radio moves forward.