Philly PPM Ratings: Full-Time Workers, African-Americans into Radio

May 2, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Data-driven | Media & Entertainment | Personalization | Radio | Women

Inaugurating electronic measurement of radio audiences in the United States, Arbitron last week released the first “currency” radio ratings from the Philadelphia Portable People Meter (PPM) service, covering March 8 through April 4.

The PPM ratings indicate that African-Americans spend more time listening to radio than other consumer segments in the Philadelphia market – the first US radio market to be measured by the PPM system, scheduled to be deployed in the top 50 markets to replace the paper and pencil diary method used since 1965.

Another compelling new finding indicated by the Portable People Meter ratings (at least in Philadelphia) is the significant increase in the composition of the radio audience (persons 18+) who are employed full time compared with what was reported by the radio diary, Arbitron said.


As with the overall population, radio’s “working persons” advantage also applies to African-American listeners, with the composition of the average quarter-hour radio audience for black persons 18+ significantly higher than previously indicated by diary-based radio ratings.

“Just as we have seen in our test markets, the Philadelphia March 2007 ratings show 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, Sales and Marketing, Arbitron.

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


According to Julian Davis, director, Urban Media Services, “The PPM ratings data clearly say that if you want an efficient ad schedule to reach your target audience, you need to consider stations and formats that deliver the highest percentage of AQH composition for your target audience. For example, you can’t effectively reach African-Americans without urban radio.”

The PPM data, expressed in terms of “turnover,” also indicate that listeners to African-American stations have the highest loyalty to the radio stations they listen to.


Turnover is the ratio of the total number listeners in a daypart to the average number of listeners in any given quarter-hour of that daypart. The lower the number, the more “loyal” the listener.

The PPM uses a passive audience-measurement device to track consumer exposure to media and entertainment, including broadcast, cable and satellite television; terrestrial, satellite and online radio; as well as cinema advertising and many types of place-based electronic media. The PPM, carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants, detects inaudible codes embedded in the audio portion of media and entertainment content.

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