Originally published: April 22, 2010
Last updated: April 22, 2010 - 8:33pm
The long-running dispute between Arbitron and the minority broadcasters represented by the PPM Coalition has finally be settled after several years of acrimonious dispute. This clears away potential obstacles to further expansion of electronic radio audience measurement by Arbitron's Portable People Meter, a passive electronic measurement device. According to Arbitron, the radio ratings firm has formulated initiatives in cooperation with the PPM Coalition and the Media Rating Council that are designed to address some of the shortcomings of PPM ratings -- namely, the under-representation of minority audiences in Arbitron's audience samples. The measures include address-based sampling and targeted in-person recruiting. Both measures are designed with the goal of increasing panelist participation in minority audience samples: in-person recruiting will allow the company to reach young minority adults that might not have land lines at home, while address-based sampling will help make recruiting of land-line households more accurate.
Federal Communications Commission member Mignon Clyburn said, "While I do have some general structural concerns about the voluntary nature of the MRC's process, I am nonetheless heartened that the parties have negotiated a solution without formal governmental action. I will continue to stay engaged with the parties as they implement their agreement to ensure that all radio stations and listeners receive the promised benefits of the PPM system."
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps added, "This would appear to be a major step forward. How successful it will be will depend, of course, on implementation of the terms of agreement. It was obvious that the Arbitron PPM was not fully representing minority audience count, to the commercial disadvantage of minority radio broadcasters."
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