Arbitron Accelerates Start Date for Cell-Phone-Only Sampling


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New York - Oct 2, 2008 - Arbitron has announced plans to introduce cell-phone-only households to its diary survey sample, starting with 50 markets for the Spring 2009 survey. This is six months earlier than the company first planned. Arbitron will also establish a sample-quality benchmark in diary markets for persons aged 18-54 equal to a Designated Delivery Index of 80. Reporting of the diary market sample performance versus the new benchmark will begin with the current Fall 2008 survey.

"The Radio Advisory Council and the Diary Market Owner Operator Caucus, which have been working closely with Arbitron on these matters since last year, deserve credit for encouraging Arbitron to speed the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets and to introduce a sample quality benchmark for 18-54 year olds, the demographic on which most radio advertising is focused," said Steve Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Arbitron. "This new benchmark will narrow the present sample guardrails in diary markets and add greater transparency to the sample quality in all diary markets."

Beginning with the Spring 2009 survey, Arbitron will add cell-phone-only households to the sample frame in 50 diary markets. Arbitron also plans to expand cell-phone-only household sampling to a total of 125 diary markets with the Fall 2009 survey. The specific market lists are not yet finalized. Portable People Meter markets already include cell-phone-only households in their panels.

Starting with the Fall 2008 survey, Arbitron plans to establish a sample benchmark for persons aged 18-54 in all diary markets equal to a Designated Delivery Index of 80. The new benchmark is based on the same metric the company uses to gauge its PPM sample quality performance. The DDI is defined as the actual sample size for a given demographic (persons aged 18-54, in this case) divided by the target sample size times 100. Should the actual sample performance fall below an 80 DDI in a given market/survey, Arbitron will focus its efforts to bring the sample performance above that threshold in subsequent surveys.



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