Arbitron Says Its Sample Is Solid

Despite facing the recent mounting scrutiny over its portable people meter (PPM) service by the Federal Communications Commission, New York State attorney general Andrew Cuomo, the New York City Council and all the fire and brimstone being tossed in its direction from the group of minority broadcasters that make up the PPM Coalition, Arbitron kicked off Wednesday afternoon’s (Sept. 10) monthly PPM conference call with president of sales and marketing Pierre Bouvard saying, “We have another set of great news for you on the PPM sample.”

“It’s ironic when you read about the concerns of ethnic broadcasters. In actuality, we have a major over-representation problem. We have an over-representation of Spanish speakers in all our panels,” Bouvard said.

Some of that news culled from the August data across 10 PPM markets included:

– An average 6+ Designated Delivery Index (DDI) of 106, with an average DDI in 18-54s of 102.

– 18-34 DDI is at 93.

– Arbitron also said it is meeting or exceeding 56 of 57 benchmarks for 18-34s across the 10 markets.

Addressing ethnic sampling, Arbitron senior vp of marketing Bill Rose pointed out that the black sample is averaging 109 percent of goal across Philadelphia, Houston, New York (nonembedded), Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. However, the same markets are bringing in an average DDI of 116 among Hispanics, with Spanish-dominant Hispanics at 133 and English-dominant Hispanics at 115.

For the second month, Arbitron’s PPM measured AM and FM streams and HD Radio subchannels. There are now 395 HD or Internet streams encoded and ready to report. To show up in the PPM data, a station must have a .495 weekly cume rating. Those stations making the grade in August were Clear Channel AC WLTW and CHR/top 40 WHTZ in New York and Clear Channel AC KOST and CBS Radio alternative KROQ in Los Angeles.

The next milestone for PPM will be Oct. 8, when eight new markets will become currency: New York, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex, Los Angeles, Riverside, Chicago, San Francisco and San Jose.