Your participation helps determine what stations put on the air.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on a question:

Why was my household selected for the Arbitron Ratings research study?

Your home was selected by Arbitron's sampling process that statistically represents the total population of your community.

Arbitron selects only a few people because it's just not possible to ask everyone. Although your neighbors may live in the same block or area, they differ from you in many ways. Your household's participation ensures that the ratings represent all of the people in your community. That's why you are so important to Arbitron.

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How did you get my phone number?

Arbitron's computer selects households for our research studies by picking phone numbers at random.

All possible phone numbers are considered, much as the winning lottery numbers are selected. Because all possible number combinations are eligible for selection, homes with listed and unlisted telephone numbers are represented.

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What's in it for me?

  • You make your voice heard.
  • You let your radio and TV stations and networks know about your media choices.
  • Your participation helps determine what stations put on the air.

By taking part in the Arbitron Ratings survey, you help the broadcasters determine what programs go on the air. You make your choices known to the people who have the power to make changes. You are the most important part of this process, and you are the one who benefits most. You may never get a chance like this again—to let your stations and networks know what you listen to and watch and to tell them what you think about radio and TV in your area.

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Who is Arbitron Inc.?

Arbitron is a leading research company, nationally known for producing the radio and television ratings.

We've been in business since 1949. We measure radio and television audiences across the country. Our only business is research and our only job is ratings.

More than 800 people in our Maryland office (located between Washington, DC, and Baltimore) use listening and viewing data from people like you to produce the ratings reports for cities nationwide. Radio and TV stations depend on the ratings to decide what to put on the air.

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What are the radio and TV ratings?

Radio and TV ratings estimate how many people listen and watch in a given community.

The ratings are a summary of people's listening and viewing choices—the stations and programs that people tune in to. Stations and networks in your area use the ratings as their report card to learn how many people listen to and watch their programs, and how many don't. The stations rely on the ratings to make programming decisions based on the media choices of people like you.

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How does Arbitron Ratings research work?

Using a select group as a sample, we estimate the radio listening and television viewership for an entire town or city.

Currently Arbitron conducts two main types of ratings research studies (the type of study your household has been selected to take part in depends on the city or town in which you live):

In some cities and towns, Arbitron conducts a brief survey where you are asked to record all of your radio listening for one week in a paper booklet and then mail it back to us.

In other cities, we ask you to become part of Arbitron's Radio and TV Ratings Panel. Your radio listening and TV viewing is captured electronically through special equipment we provide to you for as long as you remain part of the study.

For more information on the type of research study your household has been chosen for, please refer to the materials you have or will receive in the mail from Arbitron.

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Will you ever put me on a mailing list or sell my name, address or phone number to anyone else?

No! We use the information collected for research purposes only. Occasionally, we may offer a gift where you will need to provide your name, address or phone number, but accepting the gift is up to you.

Please look over our policy on this matter by clicking on We Respect Your Privacy.

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