Station to station - measuring radio audiences with a PPM panel in Québec

Pasquale (Pat) A. Pellegrini and Ken Purdye
BBM Canada, Canada


BBM has been operating a commercial Personal People Meter (PPM) panel for the measurement of French-speaking television audiences in Québec for almost two years now. Our extensive experience in setting up and enhancing this panel is covered fully in an earlier paper (Pellegrini and Purdye, 2004). In addition to measuring TV audiences, 22 radio stations (both English and French, Canadian and U.S.) have allowed their signals to be encoded to facilitate the testing of Radio measurement by this same PPM panel. The radio PPM data for these stations has been produced and analysed, and are the subject of this paper.


The Personal People Meter is an audience measurement system developed by the Arbitron Company in the United States. Co-operating broadcasters place an identifying audio code and a time stamp in their output using a special encoder. A sample of the population is equipped with a small carry-around device similar to a pager, which “listens” for, detects and stores these codes. The PPM therefore provides a near-passive record of the sample's exposure to encoded media (Patchen and Webb, 2002; Pellegrini and Purdye, 2004).