SAN ANTONIO, Texas: After much foot-dragging America's largest radio station business, Clear Channel, has agreed a deal with ratings provider Arbitron to use the latter's controversial electronic Personal People Meter to track listeners.

The radio giant's (reluctant) agreement to a multi-year deal is a major boost to Arbitron, which has fought long and hard for the PPM to replace its old-fashioned but substantially cheaper paper diary system for radio audience measurement [WARC News: 5-Jan-07].

The electronic device, smaller than a cellphone, is worn or carried by the panel member throughout the day. It detects the audio portion of any transmission which the respondent hears, thus making for more accurate measurement, Arbitron claims.

Clear Channel, which operates more than 1,200 radio stations across the US, says it will continue to look at alternatives to Arbitron's system, despite signing up until 2011.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff