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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Technological Racial Discrimination?

Mike Musgrove writes:

During the past two years, Arbitron has switched how it measures listenership. Where survey participants once wrote down their radio-listening habits in paper journals, they now carry an electronic device, called the Portable People Meter, to do it automatically.

The new system has caused turmoil in the radio industry; many stations that were popular under the former system have seen their ratings plummet under the new one. Arbitron says the devices give advertisers a more accurate and detailed look at a radio station's audience size, but some radio companies are complaining that the PPM service fails to include minority listeners.

"The increased used of the PPM may unfairly threaten the financial viability of minority-targeted radio stations whose advertising revenues depend on the size of their rated audience," Towns said.

link: Lawmakers Question Arbitron's Data on Minority Radio Listeners -


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