Arbitron speeds up cell phone only targets


Rather than having the end of 2010 as its target, Arbitron now says it will have cell phone only (CPO) households at an average of 15% for its diary markets by the Spring 2010 survey. That’s expected to improve 18-34 audience sampling, since CPO households tend to skew younger.

Accelerating the schedule announced in August, Arbitron announced Monday that it now plans to raise the proportion of its diary sample coming from CPO households to an average of 15% across all of its diary markets in the continental US, Hawaii and Alaska by Spring 2010. When implemented, the planned increase in cell-phone-only household sampling will represent an increase of 50% from the year-end 2009 sample target, which is equal to an average of 10%, the company noted.

Effective with the current Fall 2009 survey, Arbitron implemented CPO sampling in all of its 268 diary markets, completing the rollout of CPO sampling to all Arbitron-rated radio markets in the 50 United States, including diary- and PPM-based ratings services.
Arbitron began CPO sampling in 151 diary markets during the Spring 2009 survey where the ratings company said CPO sampling yielded a 25% gain in the Designated Delivery Index (DDI) sample quality metric for Persons aged 18-34. CPO sampling helped maintain the sample quality momentum in Summer 2009 diary markets where DDI improved by 11 points over the Summer 2008 survey for Persons aged 18-34 in markets with CPO sampling.

“Arbitron is committed to reflecting the increasing trend of CPO households across the US, which is why we’ve moved up the date to increase the number of these households in our samples, said Alton Adams, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP of Arbitron.

Persons who live in CPO households are more likely to be age 18-34, research has found. While the CPO sample target was an average of 10% of the total (12+) diary sample in Spring 2009 across all markets, Arbitron noted that it represented approximately 28% of the 18-34 in-tab sample.

“With this new increase in spring 2010, the percent of 18-34 sample represented by CPO households should be closer to 40%,” said Dr. Robert F. Henrick, Executive VP, Customer Solutions, Arbitron.

RBR-TVBR observation: What broadcasters want is pretty simple: bigger samples and more representative samples, particularly regarding proportionality of the younger demos. Whatever it takes for Arbitron to get there is going to be welcomed by its clients.