In the latest volley between Arbitron and minority broadcasters over the ratings company's Personal People Meter commercialization — which was moved up two days — Arbitron has released ratings figures that tout the performance of Spanish-language and urban stations under the new system.
Minority stations have lobbied against the new PPM system, citing sampling problems and other issues that they have said would hurt their ratings.
Chicago's regional Mexican WOJO (La Que Buena 105.1), a Univision station, posted "a steady increase in audience, earning a number one ranking in Morning Drive for the station’s target demographic – persons aged 18-34 – during the September PPM survey month," according to Arbitron.
But in a statement, Ceril Shagrin, executive VP of corporate research at Univision Communications, disputed the conclusion that urban and Spanish-language radio stations wouldn't be hurt by PPM's commercialization.
Arbitron had chosen day parts, demos, stations and markets "selectively" in making its announcement, said Shagrin. In terms of total day average quarter hour ratings, among listeners 12 and over in Chicago, "we saw an overall decline of 25% but if you take a closer look, Spanish-language radio is down 40% and urban down 50%, [and] top 5 non-ethnic stations are up 10%."
But she added, "Our concern is not with the size of any one station audience but with the accuracy of the data and unfortunately Arbitron’s PPM ratings data is inaccurate because the system is flawed."
Ratings results for the Hispanic demos couldn't be confirmed as of press time.