Arbitron Releases First ‘Currency’ Radio Ratings Data from Houston PPM Service

July 19, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Media & Entertainment | Radio | Technology | Youth & Gen X

The first “currency” radio ratings from the Houston Portable People Meter radio ratings service were released by Arbitron Inc. this week – the second U.S. radio market to join the electronic measurement club, joining Philadelphia, which in April became the first radio market to measured by PPM.

PPM data in Houston continue to show that radio delivers consistently high levels of weekly and daily cume audiences, Arbitron said, adding that that Hispanics and African-Americans spend more time listening to radio than other consumer segments of the Houston radio metro:


A new finding from the ratings is that, for all measured ethnic groups, a larger percentage of the radio audience (persons 18+) is employed full time than the percentage of the market population as a whole:


That “working persons” advantage also applies to Hispanic and African-American listeners in Houston and is in line with the reported Philadelphia PPM ratings for March 2007.

“Just as we have seen in the Philadelphia March 2007 ratings, the first ‘currency’ release of the Houston ratings in June shows significant growth in the total audience reach of individual radio stations. That means advertisers can now turn to radio for something that they prize: the ability to deliver reach against a specific target audience,” said Pierre Bouvard, president of sales and marketing at Arbitron.

“We also see in Houston that radio still maintains its targetability, even as individual station Cume audiences have increased.”


Unlike diary-based radio ratings, which measure persons age 12 and older, children as old as six are eligible to participate in PPM-based radio ratings, making kids age 6-11 the newest demographic for radio audiences.

During the first month of summer vacation for students, children 6-11 tune in to radio later in the day than during the last two months of school. Midday Cume shows a sharp increase as children have time to listen when they would be in school fall through spring:


A three-month cumulative audience trend indicates that school attendance has a significant impact on how children listen to radio. During school months, a greater percentage of children age 6-11 are exposed to radio in morning drive. When school is out, children appear to “sleep in,” reducing their morning drive radio exposure.

In June, the first month of summer vacation, midday exposure for the start of summer vacation is significantly higher. Weekday exposure to radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. is relatively stable, whether during a school month or not.

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