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PPM Sample Quality Benchmarks to be Improved


At the April, 2009 meeting of its Radio Advisory Council, Arbitron said it plans to raise three of its sample quality benchmarks and its average in-tab sample targets for cell-phone-only households in its PPM service. The company also announced that it intends to report PPM panel composition by country of origin for Hispanic respondents starting in the first quarter of 2010.

Arbitron uses sample quality benchmarks to gauge sample performance and to indicate the levels below which it would plan to implement measures designed to improve sample performance. The ratings firm plans to raise its PPM sample quality benchmark, Designated Delivery Index (DDI), for Persons 6 and older, total Persons ages 18-34, and its Average Daily In-tab Rate benchmark for total Persons aged 18-34 starting with the April, 2009 PPM survey month.

DDI benchmarks for Persons 6+ will increase to 95 during the first twelve months of PPM currency in each local market from its current level of 90. Arbitron calculates DDI by dividing the actual sample size for a given demographic group by its target sample size for that demographic group. A DDI of 100 means the actual sample size equals the sample target for a given month. The new benchmark will be based on an average of the number of months elapsed during the first twelve months of currency (e.g., month 6 = 6-month average).

Arbitron will also raise its DDI benchmark for total Persons 18-34 to 80 during the first twelve months of PPM currency in each local market from its current level of 70 during the first 6 months of currency and 75 during months 7-12 of currency. The new benchmark will be based on an average of the months to date in the first year of currency.

The 18-34 Average Daily In-tab Rate for total Persons 18-34 will rise to 70% from its current level of 60%. Average Daily In-tab Rate indicates the percentage of the installed panel for a given demographic group that meets or exceeds minimum compliance standards for an average day. The new benchmark will be based on an average of the number of months elapsed during in the first twelve months of PPM currency in each local market.

"The purpose of benchmarks is to establish specific quality metrics for PPM sample. Arbitron clients can expect that we will strive to meet or exceed these benchmarks," said Arbitron/Customer Solutions EVP Bob Henrick. "If Arbitron's PPM samples fall below these benchmarks we will implement action plans to address it, and report our progress."

Arbitron also plans to increase its in-tab sample target for cell-phone-only households in PPM markets from an average of 10% to an average of 15% by the end of 2009. The step up to 15% averaged across all PPM markets is accelerated from 12.5%, which the company had announced previously.

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