Arbitron Reaches Agreement on Measuring Minority Audiences
Minority broadcasters and Arbitron finally reached an agreement Thursday regarding the use of the Portable People Meter. Throughout the long-running dispute, the broadcasters have claimed that the electronic measurement device undercounted minority audiences.
Arbitron has agreed to begin in-person recruiting in high-density black and Hispanic neighborhoods in July, which will enable the company to reach young minority adults who may not have landline phones at home. It also will implement address-based sampling so that landline recruiting will be more accurate. Additional initiatives include increasing by 10% the PPM sample size for people aged 18-54; forming a minority leadership council and expanding advertiser outreach for minority radio.
“We have been talking with Arbitron for more than three years about PPM, and I am pleased that we have been able to come to an agreement for moving forward,â€ said Jim Winston, executive director of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.
The accord was reached at the bequest of Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Towns had warned the parties that if they couldn’t find a solution, Congress would. He believed that undercounting minorities decreased both airwave diversity and minority broadcasters’ bottom lines and held several hearings on the issue.
“With this agreement, I believe that minority listeners will be counted and minority-owned radio stations will work more closely in a collaborative effort to ensure the accuracy of ratings,â€ said Towns. “My committee will closely monitor progress on implementing this agreement.â€