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Arbitron Moves Up Start Date for Cell-Phone-Only Sampling in Diary Markets


50 diary markets to receive cell-phone-only sampling in Spring 2009;
Company introduces 18-54 sample benchmark in diary markets

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) today announced an expansion of its sample quality improvement programs for diary markets.

Arbitron announced plans to:

· Introduce cell-phone-only households to its diary survey sample, starting with 50 markets for the Spring 2009 survey–six months earlier than first planned; and

· Establish a sample quality benchmark in diary markets for persons aged 18-54 equal to a Designated Delivery Index of 80. Reporting of the diary market sample performance versus the new benchmark will begin with the current Fall 2008 survey.

“The Radio Advisory Council and the Diary Market Owner Operator Caucus, which have been working closely with Arbitron on these matters since last year, deserve credit for encouraging Arbitron to speed up the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets and to introduce a sample quality benchmark for 18-54 year olds, the demographic on which most radio advertising is focused,” said Steve Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Arbitron Inc. “This new benchmark will narrow the present sample guardrails in diary markets and add greater transparency to the sample quality in all diary markets.”

Accelerates introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets

Arbitron now plans to accelerate the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets by six months sooner than the company had announced earlier this month.

Beginning with the Spring 2009 survey, Arbitron will add cell-phone-only households to the sample frame in 50 diary markets. Arbitron also plans to expand cell-phone-only household sampling to a total of 125 diary markets with the Fall 2009 survey. (Specific market lists not yet finalized.)

“We believe that cell-phone-only sampling will help improve sample quality for young adults in diary markets and we are pleased to be able to start sooner than we originally anticipated,” said Owen Charlebois, president, Technology, Research and Development, Arbitron Inc.

EDITORS NOTE: Portable People MeterTM markets already include cell-phone-only households in their panels.

Establishes diary-market sample benchmark of an 80 DDI for Persons aged 18-54

Starting with the Fall 2008 survey, Arbitron plans to establish a sample benchmark for persons aged 18-54 in all diary markets equal to a Designated Delivery Index of 80.

This new benchmark will be based on the same metric the company uses to gauge its PPM sample quality performance–Designated Delivery Index. DDI is defined as the actual sample size for a given demographic (persons aged 18-54, in this case) divided by the target sample size times 100. Should the actual sample performance fall below an 80 DDI in a given market/survey, the company will focus its efforts to bring the sample performance above that threshold in subsequent surveys.

“The progress we have been making in our ongoing sample quality programs gives us the confidence to introduce a sample benchmark for Persons 18-54 in diary markets,” said Steve Smith, executive vice president, Survey Operations, Arbitron Inc.

Other Diary Market Sample Quality Initiatives

Earlier this month Arbitron announced the following planned diary market sample quality initiatives in addition to its now revised cell-phone-only sampling plans:

· Redistribution of survey incentives from older respondents to 18-34 year old respondents in all diary market starting in Spring 2009; and

· Acceleration of the company’s work to design web-based data collection and test whether it could replace the paper diary as the primary means to collect data.


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