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Florida Attorney Gen. Sues Arbitron for new radio rating system


For those of you who are not completely familiar with the radio broadcasting industry, stations use a rating service provided by Arbitron Inc. for a number of years the company  has used the diary system ( a written system by random participants) to rate the on-air programing for each station in different markets, recently this system has slowly become the way of the past in the radio world with emergence of the portable people meter or PPM as industry insiders call it. The new PPM system requires people to wear a portable device similar to a pager that will basically electronically gather codes that identify the source of a broadcast that the random participant is listening to.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCullum feels that this new system that has recently started to be used this month in the Miami/Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood market is not accurate and can negatively affect Black and Hispanic stations. McCullum feels that the PPM system does not produce reliable ratings, and greatly undercounts the minority stations. The attorney General strongly defends that this will be detrimental to stations that target minority listeners, especially in markets like South Florida were there is an extremely large minority listening base.The Miami Dade County Board of Commissioners is also calling for legislation to require the system to be accredited by the Media Rating Council before being used. As of now Arbitron's PPM system is already is accredited by the Media Rating Council in Houston TX and Riverside-San Bernardino CA.

There has also been similar suits filed in other states including Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. What's your opinion? Should Arbitron stick to the diary system or the new portable people meter system?


  • Jay 5 years ago

    WOW I think the PPM is more acurate, why go backward to please others, it seems more trusworthy than just going by what someone writes in a book

  • Frank 5 years ago

    Sounds much better to me If hispanics can't use the system probably cause they don't bother to learn English Actually knowing what they listen to instead of them trying to remember is much better & by the way I'm a white guy that Always listtens to "black" Hip hop Radio as do most of my friends

  • Applebee 5 years ago

    Problem is that a lot of folks forget to take the PPM with them all the time. When that happens there's no listening recorded however good the technology is. Would you reach for your PPM when you get in the shower? For that matter would you carry a pager with you everywhere you go? Those who do are a pretty strange bunch so no surprise that the listening numbers are off!

  • Jimmy Joe Johnson 5 years ago

    PPM is absolutely more accurate than the diary method. If people can't remember or be relied on the carry the PPM then why would they be able to precisely recall what they listened to and write it down.

    Arbitron needs to get more PPM's in the field and get a more diverse reading on the population.

  • Tor 5 years ago

    Frank, you are a complete ignorant of what media measurement meters are. PPM doesn't have any relation if people speaks english or spanish, or if a radio station broadcast programs in spanish. I think is much better for you if you try to spend your time reading instead to writing stupid comments.