Next Generation Electronic Ratings

Chris Sheldrake

Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) technology-based audit methodology was successfully tested back in October 2006 during a pilot program at BroadSign-run Digital Promo Network, which operates screens in convenience stores across the United States and yesterday it announced that it had signed a more formal agreement with BroadSign International to deliver proof-of-play advertising audit service using the same Portable People Meter (PPM™) technology.

ppm logoWe are told that Arbitron will use its PPM technology to conduct a series of annual audits capturing when encoded audio and video advertising content is displayed on networked digital screens in 50 random BroadSign-run locations across the United States.

The data will then be compared with the BroadSign commercial schedule logs. It is hoped that this verification system will equip digital out-of-home networks with base metrics to substantiate return-on-investment to advertisers.

Brian Dusho, President and Chief Strategy Officer of BroadSign International told us “For screen audience numbers to be relevant to advertisers, you have to prove first that their ads played as scheduled and the screens were on. By auditing our proof-of-play reporting system with the help of Arbitron, we are giving our client networks an added level of transparency and assurance for justifying ad rate cards and for their negotiations with advertisers.”

The PPM technology-based proof-of-play audit by Arbitron is the first such service in digital out-of-home industry. It replaces manual monitoring of screens with advanced technology, which simplifies the task of verifying advertising compliance and makes the verification more scalable.

Alton Adams, Executive Vice President, Arbitron Inc. told us “One of the barriers to large-scale media buys in digital out-of-home space has been the lack of standardized metrics. The Portable People Meter technology will help establish the first tier of accountability to digital out-of-home advertisers, laying the foundation for any other measurement in this new medium. The PPM technology is well-suited to capture proof-of-play as the technology captures distinct content and the time of broadcast.”

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is a media and marketing research firm serving the media – radio, television, cable, online radio and out-of-home – as well as advertisers and advertising agencies. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The company has developed the Portable People Meter™, a new technology for media and marketing research.

Portable People Meter™ and PPM™ are marks of Arbitron Inc.

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