Arbitron's sampling methodology is FAR more important than Mr or MrsDePetro's misdeeds

Alan Tolz
Fri Aug 22 14:26:29 EDT 2008

I agree with you, Dan.  Now, can you articulate your thoughts in Spanish for 
those among us who don't speak English as a primary language?  Well, neither 
can Arbitron.  And Hispanic broadcasters are livid about the PPM and how its 
rating and station rank numbers differ from diaries in NYC, Phila. and 

As I understand it, the PPM methodology is so bad in the urban areas of NYC, 
that the City Council is involved with Arbitron to try to make the PPM 
acceptable.  And what do the station subscribers get for all of this?  The 
righnt to pay 65% more than they do now for technology that won't be 
available in their markets until 2010, but ONLY if they sign up no later 
than TODAY!

What a disgrace.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan.Strassberg" <>
To: "Boston Radio Interest" <>
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 10:53 AM
Subject: Arbitron's sampling methodology is FAR more important than Mr or 
MrsDePetro's misdeeds

>I originally posted this at's Boston board.
> Why is everyone giving Arbitron a free pass on this fiasco? Let's
> assume that whoever falsified his or her identity for the purposes of
> the survey was smart enough to give an address with a different
> "apartment number" for each of the six "people" who received a diary.
> That would still mean that Arbitron provided diaries to six "people"
> who lived in what Arbitron would have had to believe was one building
> (a six-unit apartment building that was, in fact, a single-family
> house). It makes no sense that Arbitron should have furnished diaries
> to six people who lived in the same building--even if the company
> honstly believed that each one lived in a different apartment and thus
> that no two were members of the same household.
> Having six people who live in the same building as part of a total
> sample that had to be less than 100 should pretty obviously invalidate
> the claim that the sample was statistically representative of the
> market population. And BTW, it would make no difference if the survey
> had used the PPM or diaries. If Arbitron can send diaries to six
> people that it believes live in the same "apartment" building, it can
> also send meters to six people who live in the same building. Given
> the small size of the sample that is being used to represent the
> market population, I very much doubt whether Arbitron could justify
> sending meters to six people who live in the same apartment bulding in
> New York City, where the sample size would be several times the size
> of the Providence sample!
> The radio execs (and I'm not referring just to radio execs in
> Providence; I mean radio execs nationwide) who let Arbitron get away
> with this nonsense should get together and sue Arbitron over its use
> of what appears to be obviously flawed sampling methodology. The
> problem is deeper than the accuracy of diaries; the problem is what
> appears to be a totally invalid sampling method!
> -----
> Dan Strassberg (
> eFax 1-707-215-6367

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list