The Media Audit: New Study Indicates Pager-Like Device May Be Reason For Lower Listening Levels With PPM

Friday, July 21, 2006

Houston, TX — A recent radio study shows 35% to 40% of participants in the study are more likely to routinely carry a cell phone than a pager device to measure radio audiences. This is one of the many findings of a telephone study of 1,000 randomly selected adults commissioned by The Media Audit/Ipsos, one of two companies competing for the US electronic radio ratings contract.

“These findings are significant for both the radio industry and advertising agencies.” says Bob Jordan president of The Media Audit. “This may explain why a pager-like device is showing overall radio listening lower than previous surveys. While edit rules can help boost listening, the reality is that if people aren’t carrying the monitoring device, radio listening isn’t being recorded. It is the age old expression…garbage in, garbage out. Using the right device is critical.”

“Ad agencies and radio stations have told us they want electronic measurement for radio, but they also want the most reliable and credible results” commented Jordan. “We’re investing in research that will help the industry understand the implications of their choices.”

Jim Higginbotham, Head of Research and Chairman of The Media Audit outlined the study as follows:
“We asked 1,000 people the following question”: ‘Now let’s suppose that 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-fourths of the respondents said they’d definitely or probably go back and get the cell phone monitor whereas only half of the respondents said they’d do the same for a pager-like device. Clearly, that is a statistically significant difference!”

An even more significant difference comes up when you look at those people who said that they would definitely go back to get their monitoring device. The cell phone beat the pager by nearly 2 to 1.

“We know research companies have compliance issues with getting respondents to carry a monitoring device with them.” continued Higginbotham. “This question points that out. It shows two things…the compliance challenge is much less with a cell phone, and it helps accelerate our progress by focusing attention on where we need to concentrate our efforts.”

“There are some encouraging indications about the strength of the cell phone for media measurement” continued Higginbotham. “The study shows that nearly 85% of 18-34 year old adults would likely go back and pick up their cell phone monitor among a demographic group that is traditionally less likely to participate in surveys. By comparison, less than two-thirds of the respondents said that they would go back home to pick up their pager-like device if they forgot and left it at home.

Additional results from the study can be seen on the attached appendix.

The Media Audit/Ipsos will be providing the study to the Media Rating Council (MRC) as part of its Phase l Proof of Concept stage in the accreditation process./p>

The Media Audit, a syndicated service of International Demographics, is a multi-media and marketing survey conducted in 85 cities across the US. The 35 year old service is used by more than 250 advertisers and their ad agencies to help define the market and to help shape media campaigns. More than 1,300 media subscribe to The Media Audit to sell their advertising value to the advertisers and ad agencies.

The syndicated study that covers over 450 target items including socioeconomic characteristics, life styles, business decision makers, product purchasing plans, retail shopping habits, travel history, supermarket shopping, stores shopped, products purchased, fast-food restaurants eaten in, soft drink consumption, brands purchased, health insurance coverage, leisure activities, banks used, credit cards used and other selected consumer characteristics important to local media and advertisers.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Chris Deeney
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
312.665.0551 Bob Jordan or Phillip Beswick
The Media Audit


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Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2005, Ipsos generated global revenues of €717.8 million ($853.8 million U.S.).

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The Media Audit: New Study Indicates Pager-Like Device May Be 
Reason For Lower Listening Levels With PPM

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Chris Deeney
Senior Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs