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Arbitron’s celllphone-only study

Yesterday Arbitron announced, in the words of Inside Radio, that:

…including results from cell-only users wouldn’t produce any statistical difference in listening levels by format for 12+ or 18-34s.

Raise your hand if you believe this can’t possibly be correct.

And by the way, it’s not just listening levels “by format” that should concern us. It’s listening levels BY STATION, since last time I checked very few companies own formats, they own stations.

Especially when Arbitron acknowledges that Hispanics are more likely to be cellphone-only than Anglos, it’s inconceivable that we wouldn’t see station-specific changes to ratings when this sample is included.


Adding cellphone users to Arbitron’s sample “won’t be cheap.” That’s the affable Dr. Ed Cohen again — warning that finding cell-only Americans costs Arbitron more because “calling volume increases, and you need more operators.”

Yeah, accuracy is a bitch.

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