This time around, I'd like to welcome Saga Norfolk's President/GM Dave Paulus for a guest blog:
OK, so being the resident parrothead of the Hampton Roads area, I can usually find any meaning to any Jimmy Buffett song title.
Today, however...I've got a good one.
Look, I write a MAJOR check to Arbitron every month, just like every other GM. I know the embarrassment of the diary methodology in today's technologically savvy world. I know the ridiculous rate increases that they demand from us. I know about the low in-tab's, the "poor weighting" and the fact that one or two diaries in a large market can still move the survey tremendously.
I know it sucks, it's frustrating and drives most GM's to drink!
However, please pardon me if I don't "jump up and down with glee" that CCU has asked for "Request for proposals" from other vendors. Even if there were other options out there, we're talking years and years before those options get anywhere close to where the Portable People Meter is right now. By the way, where were these requests for options a few years ago, when the diary methodology was dying, but no one wanted to admit it? The PPM is far from a perfect instrument, and it's certainly got its issues to overcome, but Pierre Bouvard is one of the smartest guys I've ever met. If anyone in the "industry" can overcome these issues, it's him.
So, I say support the Houston test and see what the data shows. I know it's 2200 of the "same people" and the question exists about the product itself, but I have to tell ya..what other options are out there? Show me one!
All I ask as a GM is that something, anything, measures the actual listening to my radio stations. That's it. I'll win or lose with that. Something better than "Write down what you listened to last Thursday, will ya?"...and "by the way, we'll give you a buck for your trouble..."
I go on many sales calls everyday. Big agencies in NYC and little car dealers in Suffolk. I'm telling you flat out, if we don't improve the methodology that this industry measures itself by and we don't realize that this is radio's "defining moment," we're gonna look back on years like 2005 and say "Boy, remember the good old days."
Living and dying in 3/4 time! Embrace the technology that is there right now, or show me something else. Now.