PPM contract renewals as countries reaffirm commitment to electronic radio measurement

The last twelve months have seen TNS, part of the Kantar Media network, renew three major contracts to continue providing Portable People Meters (PPMs) for radio measurement. Extensions have been agreed with the radio industries in Norway, Denmark and with the Public TV broadcaster in Belgium.

Norway was the first country in the world to base the radio currency on electronic measurement. With this new deal they will continue to benefit from the service until late 2013. Denmark began using the service in January 2008. The Danish commercial radio broadcasters and the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation (DR) recently extended their original five year contract until the end of 2014. Belgium is also committing to PPMs. They've extended their contract for a further three years to 2014.

Use of PPMs is now worldwide

The PPM technology is licensed by Kantar Media from Arbitron and is currently deployed in seven countries including Canada, Iceland, Kazakhstan and the United States. Despite being a relatively new product, approximately 75,000 PPMs are in use worldwide. The ability to track digital and analogue broadcasts - whether carried over air, cable, satellite or internet - makes PPMs the most universal and accurate measurement device yet devised for radio.

Kristian Tolonen, Media Researcher at NRK and Chairman of the steering committee for the participating radio companies in Norway explains why one particular demographic is particularly important to advertisers: 'We're seeing radio listening rise among young people and this will be an exciting trend to monitor in 2010 and 2011.' With no more issues surrounding compliance, advertisers and broadcasters can begin to measure how the valuable young, urban demographic engages with their products with confidence.

Bringing clarity to radio data

PPMs are carried by carefully selected participants throughout the day. In Denmark there are currently 750 individual panellists. In Norway it stands at 850. The device picks up on transmissions the wearer hears by receiving codes embedded in the programming that are inaudible to listeners. It works everywhere, whether they are in a car, in a bar or even at work. The PPMs then register the codes to find out exactly what the individual has been listening to, and when.

Jorn Leipart, Director at TNS Gallup, part of the Kantar Media network, comments: 'We are delighted that the Norwegian Radio Industry has extended this contract...PPM is at the cutting edge of radio measurement and now gives data on a par with television.'

Reducing the risk in radio advertising

The television industry has long been able to call on minute by minute stats to pinpoint which programmes are performing and which are not. Similarly, television advertisers can see which timeslots are the most effective. Until adopting the PPMs, radio companies had to make do with monthly averages. By extending the contracts with Kantar Media the three nations are indicating their satisfaction with the way PPMs have significantly upgraded the currency of their radio data.

Media owners, media planners and radio advertisers now have access to reliable information: the demographics of those tuning in, not just listening figures. Keld Nielsen, Global Business Development Director for Kantar Media Audiences, observes that 'PPM for radio opened a whole new world of information'.
Companies have changed the way they view advertising on the radio; they are now approaching it in the same manner as television advertising. With three contracts extended in the last year it seems the PPMs are providing this reliable currency.

The increasing value of PPMs

After the announcement of the contract renewals Keld stated: 'PPM's are becoming increasingly important as media owners and advertisers crave faster and more accurate radio measurement. The potential for the product is vast as future developments could include cross-media audience measurement.'
The PPM 360 upgrade is soon to be available bringing further improvements. Three contract renewals inside twelve months is a sign that the participating countries value the data it provides. With Kenya currently conducting PPM trials of its own, it seems the world is waking up to the benefits of electronic radio measurement.

Pictured at the Danish PPM renewal signing: Frederik Meyer, SBS Radio and Nova FM, Dennis Christensen, DR Audience Research, Marianne Bugge Zederkof, Head of the Secretariat, RADIOERNE, Jim Receveur, Managing Director Radio 100, Lars Thunø, Head of  Research, DR, Morten Kromann-Larsen, Director TNS Gallup, Frank Klausen, Associate Director TNS Gallup, Henrik Hansen, Managing Director TNS Gallup

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