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August 13, 2010


Richard Harker

Jason, poke around the Arbitron web site and you’ll find some of your answers. Start with their Radio Today. Unfortunately, the most detailed information is reserved for Arbitron clients.
PPM measures exposure, so there’s no way to distinguish between active and passive listening. Since listeners record their listening in Nielsen’s and Arbitron’s diary service, we can presume that most of the listening in those services is active.
In reality, active versus passive listening is not a binary choice. It is a matter of degree. At one end, the person exposed isn’t even aware the radio is on. At the other, a listener is hanging on every word. There’s a lot of different degrees of active listening between the two.

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