Arbitron To Expand Cell-Phone-Only Sampling To All Markets In 2009

December 15, 2008

Arbitron has announced that it plans to expand the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling to 151 diary markets in Spring 2009 and to all markets (except Puerto Rico) by Fall 2009. The new schedule significantly accelerates the company’s previously announced plan to introduce cell-phone-only sampling to 50 diary markets in Spring 2009 and to a total of 125 diary markets in Fall 2009.

“This is a substantial enhancement in sample quality and it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improve the diary service. The Radio Advisory Council, the Diary Market Owner/Operator Caucus and the Media Rating Council all supported the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets,” said Pierre Bouvard, President of Sales and Marketing for Arbitron. “Arbitron has been a recognized leader in cell phone only research and we’re pleased that for the second time in three short months, we are able to speed up our plans for getting these households into our diary samples.”

Arbitron plans to use an address-based sample frame as the foundation of its cell-phone-only sample, while maintaining the random-digit-dial (RDD) sample frame for landline households. “The number of households that can be reached only by cell phone is growing rapidly and these households are more likely to include persons between the ages of 18 and 34. By including cell-phone-only homes in the sample frame we will be better able to improve young adult proportionality in diary markets,” said Owen Charlebois, President, Technology and Research & Development.

The acceleration of cell phone-only sampling to 151 markets in the spring assumes that the company is able to complete the development of software necessary to support the rollout as scheduled. If the company is not able to develop the software as expected, the planned acceleration of cell phone-only sampling could be delayed. Arbitron expects to confirm its plans for cell-phone-only sampling for the Spring 2009 survey by late February. After all metro markets have cell phone sampling, Arbitron expects to review options for expanding cell-phone-only sampling to the non-metro counties that are included in the RADAR, Nationwide and County Coverage reports.

A list of the 151 markets scheduled for cell-phone-only sampling in Spring 2009 can be found on Arbitron’s site: