Arbitron now plans to accelerate its introduction of cell-phone-only sampling to 151 diary markets in spring 2009 and to all markets, with the exception of Puerto Rico, by fall 2009. A list of the 151 markets scheduled for cell-phone-only-sampling is available on Arbitron's Web site (click here).
On Sept. 15, Arbitron had announced plans to introduce the cell-phone-only sampling in 50 diary markets by spring 2009 and to a total of 125 diary markets in fall 2009. The acceleration of the schedule assumes that the company can develop the software necessary to complete the rollout.
Delays may occur if the software is not developed as expected. Arbitron plans to confirm its current schedule for cell-phone-only sampling for the spring 2009 survey by late February 2009.
The company will use an address-based sample frame as the foundation for the cell-phone-only sample while keeping the random-digit-dial (RDD) sample frame for landline households.
"This is a substantial enhancement in sample quality and it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improve the diary service. The Radio Advisory Council, the Diary Market Owner/Operator Caucus and the Media Rating Council all supported the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets," said Pierre Bouvard, Arbitron's president of sales and marketing. "Arbitron has been a recognized leader in cell-phone-only research and we're pleased that for the second time in three short months, we are able to speed up our plans for getting these households into our diary samples."
"The number of households that can be reached only by cell phone is growing rapidly and these households are more likely to include persons between the ages of 18 and 34," said Owen Charlebois, Arbitron's president of technology and research & development. "By including cell-phone-only homes in the sample frame we will be better able to improve young adult proportionality in diary markets."
Once all of the metro markets have cell-phone-only sampling in place, Arbitron will review its options to extend sampling to non-metro counties included in the RADAR, Nationwide and County Coverage reports.