13 Stations’ Streams Measure Up In New PPM Report

Arbitron’s Monthly PPM Client Update for February, posted on their website, shows that 13 Streams of Eligible AM/FM stations reported above the minimum required cume rating in order to show up in their market PPM report as a standalone station. Arbitron’s PPM measurement service can measure listening to streams of AM/FM stations, provided that stations meet the following requirements:

  • The stream of the station must simulcast the over the air content of the broadcast station it is affiliated with, including commercials, and be encoded for PPM measurement.
  • Out of market stations are not reported.
  • Only streams of AM/FM stations are reported, online only brands are not measured.
  • Only stations that meet the minimum reporting standard of .495 Cume Rating will be reported.

Inside Radio reported that 500 Streams of AM/FM/HD stations were eligible for measurement. I could not find this information reflected in the update posted on the site.

KSFO in San Franciso and WPLJ in New York scored the biggest ratings of the measured stations in February, with KSFO actually gaining a .9 AQH share and PLJ a .8 AQH Share. Note that those are share, not ratings.


Arbitron’s measurement of Internet Radio stations seems restricted at the moment to streams that qualify for PPM measurement. Their Arbitron Comscore Internet radio ratings seems to have disappeared – they have not posted new ratings information for that measurement service on their site since last November, and in fact, the tab on their website that used to offer information for Online Radio is no longer there.

Arbitron has had a difficult time choosing how to quantify online radio – their measurement solutions have ranged from their own online radio ratings to purchasing and then ceasing operation of Measurecast. They then contracted with comScore for panel based information that they rebranded and sold to online broadcasters such as Yahoo, AOL, and Clear Channel. Yahoo and AOL’s radio platforms have recently become part of CBSRadio’s online group, and CBSRadio uses competitor Webcast Metrics for audience measurement, as does Clear Channel.

PPM technology obviously provides Arbitron with the ability to measure any encoded station – beyond just AM/FM simulcasted streams. Measuring only those streams and reporting them as part of a broadcast report helps no one – the reported streams are too small and there are too few of them to make an impact. Whether Arbitron will create a product that measures the online radio listening space more adequately with PPM by measuring online brands and non-simulcasted AM/FM streams remains to be seen.

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