Arbitron modifies meter test


Arbitron Inc. told its radio clients the next phase in the development of its
'Portable People Meter' will drop its use of the current Philadelphia panel to
produce regular releases of 'currency-type' ratings, which can be compared with
existing audience measures.

The Arbitron PPM measures have been consistently higher than Nielsen Media
Research local meters and Arbitron diaries in the Philadelphia market.

Both radio and TV companies have asked for additional research to improve
response rates, and Arbitron said it plans twin panels in a side-by-side test of
the meters, as well as expanded testing among Hispanic viewers, possibly in a
different market.

Arbitron also plans expanded research into use of the PPM in early

The company said it will make its changes during the first half of next year,
but it remains committed to the technology.

Talks with Nielsen regarding a partnership in full PPM deployment continue,
with no set timetable, Arbitron added.