Arbitron Announces Restart of Commercialization of Portable People Meter Ratings Services Eight markets to go “currency” with release of September 2008 PPM survey report; Company cites strong improvements in panel metrics
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) announced today that it will resume the commercialization of its Portable People MeterTM radio ratings service in eight markets.
“It’s time to move forward with electronic measurement for radio,” said Steve Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Arbitron Inc. “Radio broadcasters and advertisers are taking bold steps in an effort to enhance the accountability of the medium. The Radio Advertising Bureau recently published guidelines for “˜posting’ and ad schedule guarantees and the American Association of Advertising Agencies continues to advance its e-business effort: “˜Project Reinvention.’ The Arbitron PPMTM is uniquely capable of delivering the granularity, precision and speed of reporting that can help radio make these and other accountability initiatives a success.”
“We have improved our PPM samples in the four key areas we outlined last November. We have enhanced our ability to deliver PPM sample targets. We’ve improved the composition of our PPM panels, especially among the 18-34 demographic. We’ve raised the day-to-day cooperation rate of our PPM respondents. We’ve also put in place a number of programs designed to have a positive impact on response rates. Our commitment to continuous improvement means that we will keep working on these metrics as we go forward.”
“In the past weeks, we have been meeting with our clients to review the progress that we’ve made since November and to hear their priorities for enhancements to our PPM services. Our conclusion from these meetings is that our PPM ratings are valid and the time is right for electronic measurement. Another outcome from these meetings is that we have established working groups across a number of constituencies within the radio industry to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the implementation of our continuous improvement programs for the PPM. At the same time, we are working diligently with the Media Rating Council in order to achieve MRC accreditation for all our PPM markets.”
“We are also seeing that radio operators who have embraced PPM are benefiting from PPM measurement. Over the past few months, there have been numerous reports in the trade press about urban and general market broadcasters who have successfully harnessed PPM ratings to advance their programming and sales efforts. We should not continue to let other media use their more advanced measurement systems to take audience and revenue away from radio,” said Mr. Morris.
Eight markets”“New York, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Jose”“will commercialize with the release of the September PPM survey report on October 8, 2008. On that date, the company’s diary-based radio ratings will be withdrawn from those eight markets and radio transactions among Arbitron-subscribing stations and agencies will take place solely using PPM-based radio ratings.
Arbitron will deliver “pre-currency” PPM survey reports for Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino and Chicago with a special release of the June PPM survey report in mid-July, and with the regular release of the July PPM survey report on August 13 and the August PPM survey report on September 10.
Arbitron will deliver “pre-currency” PPM survey reports for San Francisco and San Jose with the release of the July PPM survey report on August 13 and the August PPM survey report on September 10.
Pre-currency reports cannot be used in buy”“sell transactions. Arbitron has released PPM pre-currency reports for New York, Nassau-Suffolk and Middlesex-Somerset-Union since October 2007.
Arbitron commercialized the PPM ratings service in Philadelphia in March 2007 and Houston-Galveston in July 2007. In addition, PPM technology is currently being used for radio and /or television measurement in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Iceland , Kazakhstan, Canada, and Singapore.
In the revised PPM commercialization schedule released by Arbitron in November 2007, Arbitron indicated an expected commercialization of the Portable People Meter ratings service in Atlanta, Dallas”“Ft. Worth, Detroit and Washington DC in December 2008. Arbitron is not altering that expectation at this time.
Investor Conference call: schedule and access Arbitron will host a conference call for investors on Friday, June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The Company invites you to listen to the call by dialing toll-free (888) 868-9083. The conference call can be accessed from outside of the United States by dialing (973) 935-8512. To participate, users will need to use the following code: 51268751. The call will also be available live on the Internet at the following sites: www.arbitron.com, www.ccbn.com and www.streetevents.com.