The Arbitron system for radio audience measurement - which is being trialled at the moment in London - appears to have acknowledged that it's having trouble reflecting actual audience figures:
"However, over the past three weeks, feedback from our customers, the media rating council and other constituencies has led us to conclude that the radio industry would be better served if we were to delay further commercialisation of the PPM in order to address their issues," Morris added.
So, erm, it's confident that the system works, but needs time to... what, exactly? Either the system provides an accurate estimation of radio audiences, or it doesn't, surely?
And the chances are that it doesn't, as the sudden drop in audiences for black stations in New York suggested. Something that Morris tacitly accepts:
You'll notice the word "compliance" there, as if - somehow - black and Hispanic listeners aren't obeying the law by refusing to wear audience-measurement devices. Given that the members of the sample are doing the company a favour, Arbitron might find they have more success in their efforts if they stopped using "compliance" in favour of "assistance", "favours" or something similar.
It's still hard to understand how a company can admit that sizeable ethnic groups are, at best, under-represented in its sampling and yet remain "confident" in its audience figures. Arbitron - or just arbitrary?