Thursday, August 13, 2009

Luckoff complains about Arbitron methods

Radio Online reports that KGO-AM/KSFO president and gm Mickey Luckoff is calling on Arbitron to increase the number of radio listeners who are given Personal People Meters, the pager-sized devices that keep track of what stations a person hears throughout the day.

Luckoff says the number of PPM panelists (those selected to wear the PPM to measure their radio listening) is far fewer than Arbitron had promised when it switched from diaries to electronic sampling last year. He said broadcasters had been assured there would be as many meters in each market being surveyed as diaries in each market.

"Unfortunately for the radio broadcasting industry and the advertising community, not only was this promise never kept, but in fact only a fraction of that guaranteed number were ever placed," Luckoff writes in an open letter to Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski. "In the San Francisco metro for instance, approximately 7200 diaries were distributed every quarter. Now, there are but 2,000 meters -- 800 households surveyed."

"The number of meters being placed in each market is far short of the number originally promised and as a result some of the very same irregularities are beginning to appear as we had been accustomed to seeing in the 'diary era,'" he continued. "PPM have become next to worthless if not actually destructive to many radio broadcasters."

Luckoff sent his letter on Monday and today (Thursday) Arbitron responded by saying it plans to increase the size of its sampling by 10 percent by the end of 2010, according to MediaWeek.

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