Arbitron Goes Wirelsss For PPM

by Dave Zornow

Arbitron is going high tech with their portable people meter rolling out a replacement for the 80’s-like pager-looking device with hardware that uses cell phone technology.

The new wireless PPM 360 technology will use a cellular network to collect data from Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) panel. PPM ratings using the existing cradle technology will be available in 50 markets for the Summer 2010 book.

“We have multiple solutions for data capture and retrieval,” says Arbitron spokesperson Jessica Benbow. “While this version is on a cell phone delivery system, the existing PPM technology retrieves data from the meter through a docking station and sends it to Arbitron through a landline or a cell modem depending on status of the household and the availability of cell coverage. That system will remain intact simultaneously as this system is deployed.”

Arbitron’s president says the enhanced PPM will liberate audience measurement from the home and make it easier to follow the mobile consumers. “This platform is designed to be an integrated component to our existing radio services and drive future innovation for media measurement,” says William Kerr, Arbitron President and CEO.

Arbitron has decided to keep the name of the cell phone carrier secret. Rollout plans for PPM 360 will be announced after field testing of the new system concludes at the end of 2010.

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