Arbitron went back to the drawing board for the technical end of their measured ratings service. They will slowly phase into service a new cell-phone like measuring device called PPM 360. Much like a cell-phone, without the docking station and pager like device. Then later in the day, yesterday, Arbitron announced the purchase of Integrated Media Measurement and their digital platform. Today PPM 360 becomes multi-platform. Jaye Albright from Albright and O'Malley has some pros and cons about the new media technologies from Arbitron:
"It is a much-needed improvement which hopefully will improve the carry rate, especially early in the morning of women. But, it doesn't address THE problems: 1) under-representation by a factor of two to four of cell phone only homes in the sample while create HUGE weighting in almost every demo from month to month and 2) the fact that the sample simply must be four times larger in order to be truly statistically-reliable. The diary sample has never been great, but at least in diaries when you get a week with one household sending back one or even more diaries with 201+ quarter hours you know that home won't be in next week's sample. In PPM, you live with homes like that for on average seven months."
This is simply a technical up-grade and has nothing to do with expanding and smoothing out the sample size. The device uses cell phone technology to communicate with the panelist. There is more flexibility to the unit and less of a headache for the respondent. Read more from Arbitron at: PPM 360