That’s right. Arbitron has reached an agreement with the Maryland Attorney General’s office about changes in the way that they sample their data using the relatively new Portable People Meter (PPM). The particulars of this agreement echo those already reached with the Attorney Generals of New York and New Jersey.
Basically, the methodology used for picking who will use the PPM will be shifting. Instead of predominantly telephone number-based sampling, Arbitron has agreed to continually increasing percentage of those sampled to be picked by address. As someone who has only a cell phone, not a landline, I appreciate the logic of the new approach. I would say that a minimum of 50% of my social circle no longer have landlines either. (Besides, I can’t pick up radio on a landline.)
Via Radio Ink:
“The company’s long-standing continuous improvement programs are a powerful framework for enhancing our Portable People Meter radio ratings services,” said Arbitron President/CEO Michael Skarzynski. “This agreement with the Maryland Attorney General further indicates that Arbitron is proceeding along the appropriate course as we commercialize PPM in the top radio markets.”
Like any new system, it will take awhile for the PPM to find its equilibrium. Once you start with practical application of any device, there is always a shakedown period during which adjustments of this nature are made. I see it as a simple, logical and necessary part of the process. All in all, good news. Especially with the PPM due to be commercialized in Baltimore, MD, this coming October.