Last week, Arbitron broke out its April data based on the first month of Cell-Phone Only data. They discovered that while the overall 12+ level for CPO is just under 11%, more than one-quarter of 18-24s have dumped their land lines in favor of mobile phones.
Of course, this is data we discovered during our debut Tech Poll in '05 - young radio listeners have been under-represented in Arbitron surveys prior to the Cell Phone Only fix.
But there's lots of good news here. First, Arbitron is well on the way to rectifying this deficiency, thus making the ratings more representative of the population, especially young listeners. Second, formats that are younger targeted are on a level playing field. And the inclusion of CPOs will faciliate Arbitron reaching its Designated Delivery Index goals.
Unfortunately, it often takes a long time - in this case, a few years - for complex ratings systems to adapt and change with the times. As technology continues to evolve at a rapid clip, Arbitron (and any other ratings service that hopes to compete) is going to have to move like the rest of us - fast and furious.