Tests to commence on running a radio audience measurement PPM panel in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics
October 18th 2007 – TNS announced today that CSM Media Research (a TNS joint venture with CTR Market Research – China’s leading market research company) will initiate comprehensive field tests in Beijing of the Arbitron Portable People MeterTM (PPM) system for radio audience measurement. This puts CSM Media Research (already China’s leader in TV and radio audience measurement), and China at the forefront of yet another advanced media measurement technology in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The PPM system is licensed by TNS, and TNS will support the set-up and running of the audience measurement test.
Preparations are well underway for the introduction of a pilot panel in Beijing. A carefully designed testing methodology will aid understanding of how the PPM performs in Beijing’s media environment. The test with Beijing’s major radio broadcasters is supported by radio media owners as well as CSM Media Research and Arbitron. CSM Media Research will release key findings upon completion.
Brad Bedford, Arbitron’s Vice President, International PPM Marketing, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of the PPM system in such a significant market. The 2008 Olympics will be a major event and we are confident that PPM will provide valuable insights at this exciting time."
Paul Wang, Managing Director of CSM Media Research, said: "China’s large and rapidly advancing media industry requires the world’s most advanced and reliable measurement systems. Both China’s media industry and Beijing’s broadcasters have shown the foresight to take full advantage of the PPM system’s ability to deliver more accurate audience estimates from the PPM panel. Data from the Beijing PPM test will drive new insights into how audiences interact with the radio medium."
Mike Gorton, TNS Global Sector Head for TNS Media Research, which provides measurement of internet, TV and radio audiences, said: "TNS and CSM Media Research have world-class expertise in TV and radio audience measurement and the decision to move forward with this test at this critical period of growth in China will help to deliver fresh insights into audience behaviour as the 2008 Olympics approach. This is another important step forward in China’s media measurement landscape, all made possible by the close collaboration between TNS and Arbitron in promoting the PPM internationally."
Mr. Zhang, Director of Beijing Radio’s advertising department, added: "Our extensive use of audience measurement data has energized our operation and we see this new test as a further catalyst to overall industry development. It will allow advertisers to understand the performance of radio more accurately and so achieve optimal advertising results. We look forward to the test and wish to thank CSM Media Research, TNS and Arbitron in the US for their help and support in driving this initiative forward."
This announcement continues a highly successful phase in the adoption of PPM on a commercial basis around the world. The PPM was first used in a commercial audience measurement panel for VRT in Belgium, and has tracked TV and radio since 2003. The PPM system has been used for TV currency ratings in Montreal and Quebec since 2004. In 2006, PPM was adopted as radio currency in Norway and as TV currency in Kazakhstan. In 2008 it will be used for radio currency in Denmark, and as TV and radio currency in Iceland.
Also in 2006, RAJAR (the radio research consortium in the UK) in concert with BARB (the TV research consortium) awarded TNS a contract for a PPM research and development panel in London. The RAJAR award was the result of a four-year competitive evaluation process that included assessments of the Media Audit/IPSOS "Smart Cell Phone" meter, the GfK "wristwatch" meter and the Eurisko Media Monitor system. In the US in 2007, PPM will be used as the radio currency in three markets – Houston, Philadelphia and New York. In 2008, an additional nine markets are scheduled to begin using PPM as radio currency. The plan is to roll out PPM for radio to the top 50 markets in the US by 2010.