Univision Radio has begun encoding for Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) system in Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, San Antonio and Las Vegas. Even so, the Spanish media giant is not yet subscribing to PPM data for those markets. Rather, the decision to encode came as pressure built from advertising agencies and major advertisers complained of the lack of data for Spanish radio in important markets.
A message sent to ad buyers by an Univision Radio official said the company would begin encoding in all PPM markets, effective April 1st. “This means that our stations will be included in Arbitron’s ratings reports for their markets. We are making this decision in response to your needs to have the information to make decisions. We appreciate the support we’ve received from you and your team as we’ve worked to address the PPM issues. Thank you,” the email read.
The encoding decision hardly resolves complaints about PPM by Univision and several other broadcasters who primarily target Hispanic or African-American audiences. And while Univision is now encoding in the heavily Hispanic Miami market, rival Spanish Broadcasting System just this week got court permission to stop encoding in Miami and other markets.
Univision subscribes to PPM data only in Houston, one of three Arbitron PPM markets which are accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC). It has, however, encoded in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and San Jose since PPM was activated in those markets. More recently, Univision had refused to even encode in Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, San Antonio and Las Vegas as PPM was deployed in those markets – until Thursday.
Neither Univision nor Arbitron has been willing to make any public comment on the decision to encode in those five markets. It appears that Univision’s objections to PPM are still far from resolved.