NEWS1 October 2009

Arbitron forms cross-platform measurement group

North America Technology

US— Arbitron has formed a cross-platform measurement group that will use portable people meter (PPM) technology to measure how media is consumed across TV, radio, internet, mobile and place-based media.

Pierre Bouvard has moved across from vice president of sales to the newly created role of executive vice president of cross-platform services to lead the initiative, which Arbitron is hailing as a “significant step in leveraging PPM technologies beyond its traditional radio business”.

Arbitron said it is looking to form domestic and international partnerships to roll out new services once Bouvard and his team have developed a cross-platform media measurement strategy and defined key offerings.

CEO Michael Skarzynski (pictured) said: “Arbitron PPM technology provides a unique method for tracking consumer-level exposure across numerous platforms and media. By establishing this group, we believe that we can more effectively operate at the speed and scale required to succeed in this dynamic media marketplace.

“We believe this cross-platform media measurement initiative is a natural extension of our existing services and will help generate more comprehensive insights into our customers’ total audience.”

The formation of a dedicated cross-platform group is the latest step in Arbitron’s plan to use PPM beyond radio measurement, which has been hinted at for some time. Previous CEO Steve Morris refused to rule out Arbitron’s entry into the TV measurement sector last November, saying that “nothing is off the table” when asked if the firm would use PPMs to compete with Nielsen on its own home turf following Nielsen’s foray into radio ratings.

Earlier this year the firm launched ARB-TV, which uses PPM technology to measure out-of-home TV viewing. Building on that, in September Arbitron announced it had teamed up with BroadSign International to use PPMs to deliver a “proof of play” advertising audit for out-of-home video networks.

Meanwhile, the firm has promoted Carol Hanley to senior vice president and chief sales officer to sell its services to radio, agency and advertiser customers. She will report to Michael Skarzynski.