The new PPM
Arbitron uses PPM (Portable People Meter) for audience measurement in the top 52 markets. There are advantages and disadvantages to the new methodology, and tactics a station can successfully use to maximize PPM ratings are different from those that work well in a Diary market.
One of the biggest differences is that PPM does not make mistakes. To quote Roger Clemens, Diarykeepers might “misremember” which station they were listening to, but PPM never gets it wrong. There is, however, a fair amount of listening that PPM captures but Arbitron does not report, and In-tab rates often do not match market size.
Another big difference: Diarykeepers participate for only one week and are paid a couple of dollars. PPM panelists can wear their meter for up to two years, and in some instances have been re-upped after that. They are paid much greater sums – as much as $200 per month per family member – depending on how much radio listening is recorded. What does that mean? Contest players are a small percentage of listeners, but they are motivated by money and prizes and therefore much more likely to participate in a PPM panel.
Another huge difference is the tendencies of men and women to wear or carry a meter. Depending on the job, it is not that unusual to see a man wearing a cell phone clipped to his belt. Have you ever seen woman do that?
Ratings Results can help you implement strategies and tactics that maximize your results with PPM panelists.