Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PPM is 10 years old

And radio still hates it. From today's NOW newsletter...

PPM measurement went “live” ten years ago this month – and the world hasn’t been the same. For several years before Philadelphia became the first market to use PPM as “currency” for buying and selling ads, Nielsen predecessor Arbitron tested the technology first in Wilmington, Delaware, then up into Philadelphia. There was also a joint radio/TV test with Nielsen in Houston. But Nielsen ultimately declined to proceed with Arbitron, and the radio ratings company finally went “live” on its own, with the January 2007 PPMs for Philly. As ratings historian Chris Huff says, “Houston followed in March, with the wider rollout in 2008.” There were threats by various state attorneys-general about the PPM’s effect on urban and Hispanic formats, and then settlements. (Remember the claims by urban broadcasters that their shares were being shaved by 30% or more, compared to the diary?) There was also much discussion with the Media Rating Council, which to this day accredits only a minority of the 48 PPM markets. The MRC went through a series of individual-market accreditations and withdrawals, though they don’t seem to have hampered PPM’s acceptance by agencies and advertisers. Bottom line – on its tenth anniversary, the PPM is a fact of life, even if some users continue to grumble about the small sample size. And the PPM is the major reason Nielsen paid $1.3 billion to buy Arbitron in late 2013.