Arbitron Upgrades PPM Technology

Arbitron has unveiled a new phase in their PPM technology which extends measurement onto a wireless platform. Called the PPM 360, it lays the foundation for the development of future applications for the patented, proprietary PPM technology on multiple consumer devices.

“This innovative approach further liberates audience measurement from the home and enables media, brands and marketers to follow the mobile consumer more closely – which is particularly important for brands appealing to younger demographics,” said William Kerr, President and CEO, Arbitron. “This platform is designed to be an integrated component to our existing radio services and drive future innovation for media measurement.”

The Arbitron Portable People Meter technology tracks consumers’ exposure to media and entertainment, including broadcast, cable and satellite television; terrestrial, satellite and online radio as well as cinema advertising and many types of place-based digital media.

Arbitron has had the capability to detect streaming listening all along with their PPM technology. Thusfar, they have chosen to only use that technology to measure listening to broadcast stations who are adhering to a 100% simulcast rule (and are therefore not monetizing their online ads except as add-ons to broadcast campaigns). It’s basically sidelined Arbitron as a viable option for streaming radio audience measurement.

Arbitron used to measure Internet radio station audiences, first with their own server based technology, then with the acquisition of Measurecast. They eventually shuttered Measurecast and opted for a partnership with comScore, using comScore data and producing audience estimates that were panel based and inadequate for measuring most individual stations.

The PPM 360 press release hints at an interest in extending audience measurement more seriously to new media, and with their already existing capabilities, streaming radio audience measurement is a natural place for Arbitron to head. I’m staying tuned…

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