In May, Arbitron announced they were testing an experimental approach to measuring mid-sized and small radio markets.

Named Project Leapfrog, the program’s goal is to find alternative ways of measuring radio beyond today’s paper diaries that the non-local people meter (LPM) markets currently use. While even more accurate than Project Leapfrog, portable people meters (PPMs) cannot measure all markets due to cost.

Higher Accuracy Reporting
Arbitron’s goal is to improve accuracy of reporting ratings in the smaller markets by:

  • increasing sample sizes,
  • improving representation of demos,
  • improving data collection by using the internet and mobile devices,
  • changing to an address-based vs. land-line phone samples.

The newer survey will allow diary participants to log radio listenership via the web or mobile app. Paper diaries will still be offered to those who prefer this method.  Arbitron is also changing the way they compensate respondents.  Leapfrog will only compensate participants once the survey is complete.

Success Tracks to Consumer Habits
Project Leapfrog’s initial test saw greater participation from the 18-34 age groups and lower participation from those 55+.  These results are promising and across age groups come as no surprise based on how each group uses technology.

We give credit to Arbitron for recognizing the need to update their current approach to tracking listeners in lower ranked markets. Hopefully Project Leapfrog is rolled out to all non-LPM markets sooner rather than later. And hopefully Nielsen can learn from Arbitron and take a similar approach in its diary TV markets.

:: By Heater Watson, Local Media Director

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