Arbitron has long vowed to win accreditation from the Media Rating Council for its Portable People Meter radio ratings system in every market where it is used. That promise came closer to
fulfillment with Tuesday’s announcement that the MRC has granted accreditation to PPM in four more markets, bringing the total number of markets with MRC accreditation to 18.
According to Arbitron, PPM has been granted MRC accreditation in Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill metropolitan area in North Carolina.
These join 14
previously accredited markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, San
Antonio, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.
Gregg Lindner, Arbitron’s executive vice president for service innovation and chief research officer, stated: “We remain focused on our efforts to maintain the MRC double checkmarks in our currently accredited PPM markets and to achieve service-wide accreditation for all PPM markets.”
Arbitron still has a ways to go toward getting MRC accreditation in every market, as PPM remains unaccredited in 30 other markets where it is already in use. The MRC can also revoke accreditation, as it has in the past in several markets, including Cleveland, Portland, and Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo. These appear to remain unaccredited at the present time.
It’s unclear why these accreditations were revoked, as the MRC’s meetings and decisions all take place behind closed doors. Previously, lack of MRC accreditation provided ammunition to minority broadcasters who contended that flawed sampling methodologies were causing Arbitron to undercount their audiences in PPM ratings.
Most of these issues appear to have been resolved in 2011, after hearings
in front of a Congressional committee and some high-profile management changes at Arbitron.