Arbitron, Maryland Attorney General Reach PPM Agreement

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Baltimore and Columbia, MD - Feb 06, 2009 - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Arbitron reached an agreement for Arbitron to modify its method of gathering PPM survey data for the Washington, DC, and Baltimore markets. Under the agreement, Arbitron will take several steps to more reliably represent all segments of radio listeners, particularly younger and minority listeners, including:

  • Additional recruitment efforts to capture, as part of its sampling, cell-phone-only households that do not have a landline telephone
  • Taking reasonable measures to ensure that recruitment of racial and ethnic minorities surveyed is commensurate with the racial and ethnic composition of the geographic area being surveyed, including using home addresses, rather than just telephone numbers, to identify potential participants
  • Meeting numerical measures of proportionality between Arbitron's sample results and the actual populations in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore radio markets
  • Providing additional information about the PPM sample results to broadcasters, advertisers and other users of the data

    Attorney General Gansler had concerns that the initial rollout of Arbitron's PPM technology posed a serious risk that certain groups of minority listeners could be undercounted, "imperiling the financial viability of minority radio stations whose ad revenues depend on the size of their rated audience."

    The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters and the Spanish Radio Association issued statements praising the Attorney General for his action, calling it a civil rights issue.

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