Arbitron Wraps PPM's First Phase


Arbitron Co. has completed the first phase of its Portable People Meter
trial, the company said Thursday.

The PPM will now expand its tests of the PPM - a pager-sized device now in
use in Wilmington, Del. - to 1,500 homes throughout the surrounding Philadelphia
DMA, as previously planned.

The meter, which study participants carry with them throughout the day,
automatically records TV viewership and radio listening by through the use of
unnoticeable codes in the audible portion of a signal.

In releasing its third round of ratings comparisons against current
television, cable and radio ratings reports, Arbitron said that its PPM audience
data are 'tracking media exposure missed by today's generation of TV and radio
ratings methods.'

The PPM report, which covers September and October, 'continues to report
higher average quarter-hour audiences on a 24-hour day, total-week basis for the
combined electronic media outlets that encoded full time.'

All told, 15 cable networks, eight broadcast TV stations and 38 radio outlets
have been encoded.

As with the two previous reports, the PPM recorded higher quarter-hour
broadcast and cable audiences in all dayparts, 'due in part to increased viewing
for men and people under age 35, as well as substantially higher cable viewing
overall and the PPM's ability to track viewing out of home,' Arbitron said.

But an Arbitron spokesman said that the researcher is not yet able to segment
out-of-home and in-home viewing.

Nielsen Media Research is providing financial support and TV-ratings
expertise for the test, It also has the option to partner with Arbitron in the
PPM rollout.

Arbitron officials are hopeful for a Nielsen decision in the early part of