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People Meter results released two days early

Arbitron got a letter from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on Thursday threatening to seek a court order to block the rollout of its portable people meter (ppm) for measuring radio audiences, set for Wednesday. So Arbitron decided to release its PPM results this morning for several markets including San Francisco. These numbers, for listeners 18-34, were included in an Arbitron press release. It should be noted that 18-34 is a demographic favored by advertisers, but stations like KGO-AM often use the 12-and-older numbers when claiming their market rankings.

                  Persons 18-34 AQH Share Ranker
San Francisco Radio Metro
Monday-Sunday 6am-Midnight
September PPM Survey Month (August 21-September 17)

Rank Outlet Format AQH Share
1 KMEL-FM Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio 10.8
2 KSOL-FM Mexican Regional 7.3
3 KYLD-FM Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio 6.3
4 KRZZ-FM Mexican Regional 5.9
5 KITS-FM Alternative 4.9
6 KOIT-FM Adult Contemporary 4.2
7 KSAN-FM Classic Rock 4.1
8 KIOI-FM Adult Contemporary 3.9
9 KQED-FM News Talk Information 3.7
10 KEZR-FM Hot Adult Contemporary 3.5

The controversy over PPM is whether the meters, which are worn like a pager and detect audio tones stations transmit, are as reliable as the hand written diaries Arbitron has used for years. Earlier surveys using PPMs showed lower ratings for stations appealing to blacks and Hispanics, and those stations asked Cuomo to open an investigation into Arbitron’s methods.

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