Arbitron Changes Hispanic Audience Research Methods

Arbitron yesterday decided to change the way they gather research data for the Hispanic audience.

The company will change the way it inquires about household language preferences in an effort "to get a broader sample of the Hispanic audience," according to Ed Cohen, vice president of network radio research.

In the past, Arbitron asked language preference questions in the radio diary it sends to people who agree to participate. Now it will ask a single question instead of three during the placement interview, when it asks for diary participation. This will enable Arbitron to get information about Hispanics whether or not they participate in the diaries, "which will give us a larger base of people to look at," Cohen says.

The new research method, begun Jan 3, highlights the issue of language preference. "There's a question as to whether we should weight them by language preference," Cohen says. "We don't do it, but now we'll be able to find out if the diary is capturing it or not." He says there is no language preference data available, with the census not providing it.

With more language preference information available, advertisers could change the way they advertise in major Hispanic markets. There are 167 Hispanic markets that qualify for differential survey treatment (DST) and 68 Hispanic DST Metros.

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