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New Arbitron Measurement System Called "Project Leapfrog" to be Discussed Today.

March 14, 2011

The Radio Advisory Council and Arbitron will be holding a conference call today at 3PM to regarding "a variety of important topics"  discussed last week at the Council's meetings with the measurement service in Maryland. One of the issues that was discussed last week is "project leapfrog". Sounds almost like a government code name doesn't it. The council statement says "project leapfrog" is a new experimental measurement approach that features a week-long, web/mobile based survey as the primary means of data collection.

Apparently a few people were let in on the new experiment at the recently completed Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. One consultant told us late last night "it's an exciting possibility and of course everyone knows they simply must do something and soon. Of course, they tested a web diary many years ago, but compared to what is doable now that one was ancient. They dropped that earlier experiment because it didn't increase the listening levels above dairies, but of course that was long before the sample issues of today."

In a statement Friday the Council issued a brief statement that said the meeting was productive, however, nobody on the council would discuss the details of the meeting. Being hush-hush is standard operating procedure as members of the council have to sign an agreement with Arbitron that they will not discuss the meetings. Here is the statement from the council.

On the Diary front, we are encouraged that Arbitron is making significant investments to explore new approaches for Diary markets that go beyond paper and pencil diaries. Arbitron shared the current status of its test plans for project Leapfrog; a new experimental measurement approach that features a week-long, Web/mobile-based survey as the primary means of data collection. Arbitron has been sharing its progress on this work with the Council over the past year. We urged Arbitron to share more details about Leapfrog and other diary improvement initiatives with all customers as soon as practical.

Regarding PPM, we note Arbitron's sample improvement in the past year. We are pleased that Arbitron plans to continue that momentum with steps to improve PPM panel quality including the expansion of targeted in-person recruiting, address-based sampling, and a finer level of geographic sampling control. We also encouraged Arbitron to move forward with the implementation of PPM360 (Arbitron's newly designed mobile platform-enabled meter) with all due speed.

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