The number of iPhone applications has reached 85,000. Today’s iPhone, along with a growing number of smart phones, can do virtually anything from creating scatological noises to actually making phone calls. One serious absence (from radio’s perspective) is an Arbitron app.
During Media Audit’s ill-fated run at creating an alternative to Arbitron’s PPM, they produced a study that showed that 35% to 40% of participants were more likely to routinely carry a cell phone than a pager device (PPM).
A White Paper entitled New Study Indicates Pager-Like Device May Be Reason for Lower Listening With PPM asked this question:
Suppose you did agree to participate in the study and you have just left home when you discover that you have forgotten to bring the monitor with you. If the monitor was your cell phone/pager and you were a few minutes from home, would you go back home to get it?
Three quarters of participants would definitely or probably go back for the cell phone, but only half said they would go back for the pager-like device. The graph at the left shows the proportion of people that would definitely go back. (Click to enlarge.)
Three years ago when Media Audit and Ipsos proposed using a smart phone to measure radio, smart phones were just entering the market, and not all that smart. Today in addition to the iPhone, we have Blackberry, Android, WebOS, and other smart OS phones that can use specialized applications.
Building PPM detection into a smart phone is more than just an app, but what about turning a smart phone into a radio diary? We know that most people don’t carry their diary with them. They fill it out hours and even days after the fact.
If participants filled out an electronic diary on their smart phone (perhaps with the nudging of occasional text messages or recorded messages), we could move the recording a little closer to the listening.
A little cooler than producing PPM meters in different colors, one of Arbitron’s ideas to get young people to carry the thing. Seems like a pretty straightforward way to get the mobile generation on board. Arbitron Advisory Council, what do you think?