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Completes First Phase Of PPM Market Trial

December 28 2001

Arbitron has reached a successful completion in the first phase of the Portable People Meter (PPM) market trial in the USA with the release of a third round of ratings comparisons for its new television, cable and radio audience measurement system.

Compared to ratings reported by current TV and radio audience measurement systems, the Portable People Meter reports higher total-day average quarter-hour (AQH) estimates for consumer use of electronic media - radio, TV and cable. These findings indicate that Arbitron's new ratings technology is tracking media exposure missed by the current generation of TV and radio ratings methods.

The PPM is a pager-sized device that is carried by consumers. It automatically detects inaudible codes that TV and radio broadcasters as well as cable networks embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by Arbitron. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into base stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes to Arbitron for tabulation. The meters are equipped with a motion sensor that allows Arbitron to monitor the compliance of the PPM survey participants every day.

'Our success in the first phase of the US market trial keeps us on a fast track to deploy the Portable People Meter in local markets across the United States,' said Marshall Snyder, president, Worldwide Portable People Meter Development, Arbitron Inc. 'By the second quarter of 2002, the industry will have the first direct comparisons of PPM audience estimates for individual radio and TV stations as well as cable networks. This is the information our customers have been looking forward to as they prepare to use a new way of measuring radio, television and cable audiences.'

Since December 2000, the Portable People Meter has been undergoing US market trials in Wilmington, Delaware, which falls within the Philadelphia TV region. Arbitron has also released ratings results from the first phase of the trial on July 19 and September 24, 2001. The next phase in Arbitron's demonstration of the PPM is to expand the sample to at least 1,500 people across the entire Philadelphia Designated Market Area (DMA(r)) beginning in January 2002. The increased sample size in the second phase of the trial will allow direct comparisons of audiences for individual radio stations and formats, TV stations and cable networks. Nielsen Media Research is providing financial support and its television survey research expertise in this trial of the Portable People Meter. Nielsen also has an option to join Arbitron in the commercial deployment of the Arbitron Portable People Meter in the United States.

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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