Arbitron and CIMM release cross-platform insights from groundbreaking, single-source, three-screen study

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COLUMBIA, MD – June 11, 2012 – A significant share of TV viewers are using PCs and mobile devices as second and third screens to access video content, according to the results of a cross-platform pilot test to be presented by Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) at the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement 7.0 conference in New York.

The presentation detailed how a separately recruited panel of Arbitron Portable People Meter® (PPM®) participants who viewed broadcast and cable TV outlets operated by CIMM participants also accessed content on CIMM member websites and apps as well as on the leading online video sites–Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube–whether via personal computer or via web sites and associated mobile apps on Android and BlackBerry devices.

Among the findings:

  • 91.7 percent of the panelists who viewed CIMM TV/cable outlets used a second or third screen to access video sites
  • 35.5 percent used all three screens–TVs, PCs and Android/BlackBerry device
  • Out-of-home consumption accounted for 13 percent of the total time spent with CIMM TV and online video sites
  • 35 percent of CIMM TV/cable outlet viewers accessed online video sites “at-work”
  • Nearly three out of four of “at-work” video consumers watched on a desktop PC
  • Simultaneous usage of TV along with video sites was more limited than simultaneous usage of broadcast and cable TV along with social, search and email sites

“The cross-platform pilot that we conducted for CIMM clearly demonstrates the value of personal, passive, and portable measurement within a single panel of media consumers,” said Gregg Lindner, Executive Vice President, Service Innovation and Chief Research Officer, Arbitron Inc. “As media platforms evolve, so too will our measurement technologies as we work to support the emergence of a cross-platform buying and planning ecosystem. We continue to believe that a Portable People Meter-based panel will serve as a solid foundation for more scalable cross-media measurement solutions.”

Jane Clarke, Managing Director, CIMM, said, “The methodologies currently available to track and measure audiences across multiple screens are, at best, incomplete and haven’t nearly kept pace with the rapid proliferation of cross platform content consumption. The result is a media industry that is unaware of the true reach and exposure of its assets. Through its pilot test, Arbitron has laid the essential groundwork necessary to build a scalable solution to multi-screen measurement. We look forward to further collaboration with Arbitron toward reaching one of CIMM’s goals for improving media measurement.”

Multiple screen access to video content nearly universal

Use of more than one video screen by PPM panelists who viewed CIMM broadcast and cable TV outlets was close to universal–91.7 percent. TV + PC access to online video sites dominated two-screen use at 48.9 percent, while use of TV + Android/Blackberry devices represented the smallest share of two-screen users at 7.3 percent.

Use of all three screens accounted for 35.5 percent of the viewers of CIMM broadcast and cable TV outlets.

Multiscreen access to CIMM-TV + online video sites

Arbitron/CIMM Cross-Platform Pilot Panelists, age 18 and older
Sunday-Sunday 6AM-6AM
January 2012



Any two screen or three screen access (TV + PC or TV + mobile or TV + PC + mobile*) 91.7%
CIMM TV + PC (no mobile access) 48.9%
CIMM TV + PC + Android/BlackBerry mobile access 35.5%
CIMM TV only (No PC or mobile access) 8.3%
TV + Android/BlackBerry mobile access (No PC access) 7.3%

*Since the study was based on PPM panelists who viewed broadcast and cable TV outlets encoded by CIMM participants, by design, there could be no PC + mobile users who did not access any CIMM broadcast and cable TV.

While a significant portion of the CIMM TV audience used PCs or Android/BlackBerry mobile devices to access the leading online video sites, broadcast and cable TV was by far the leading choice for video consumption in terms of aggregate time spent with TV and video sites across the measured three screens.

Reach and Time Spent with CIMM-TV+online video sites

Arbitron/CIMM Cross-Platform Pilot Panelists
Persons 18+; Sunday-Sunday 6AM-6AM
January 2012


Percent of Viewers

Share of Time Spent

Aggregate Hours

CIMM broadcast and cable TV 100.0% 90.2% 35,045
PC access to online video sites 84.4% 9.3% 3,611
Mobile Access (Android/Blackberry)> 42.7% 0.5% 188

*Study is based viewers of broadcast and cable TV outlets encoded by CIMM participants.

At-work online video site consumption

More than one out of three viewers (35 percent) to CIMM broadcast and cable TV outlets accessed online video sites at work. Of these at-work video consumers, 71.0 percent used a PC for access to online video sites. Android/BlackBerry mobile devices were used by 50.4 percent of at-work video consumers.

While the average time spent with online video sites at work was 2 hours, 43 minutes during January 2012, these at-work video users spent significantly more time at home with online video sites–8 hours, 5 minutes–during the month.

Among the CIMM and leading online video sites, YouTube was the top choice in terms of percentage of users at work, while Netflix was the leading choice in terms of time spent with online video at work. Only Hulu delivered more time spent at work than at home.

At-work/at-home online video site consumption

Arbitron/CIMM Cross-Platform Pilot Panelists
Persons 18+; Sunday-Sunday 6AM-6AM
January 2012


Percent of At-Work Users

Average Time Spent at Work

Average Time Spent at Home

Any online 100.0% 2:43 8:05
Any PC 100.0% 2:43 8:05
Any online 71.0% 3:35 8:28
Any mobile* 50.4% 0:20 0:51
Any app* 13.7% 0:15 0:30
CIMM online video sites 68.7% 1:13 2:47
Hulu 11.5% 1:33 0:55
Netflix 16.8% 3:14 5:03
YouTube 80.9% 1:25 4:16

*Android/BlackBerry Devices

For the CIMM cross-platform pilot, Arbitron defined “at-work” as video consumption that took place whenever the Arbitron PPM indicated the panelist was “out of home” and when consumption took place on a PC that was registered with the study as work or dual-use.

Simultaneous use of three-screen options

At-home PCs and mobile devices make it possible for consumers to use an additional screen simultaneously with TV consumption. The study revealed a marked difference in simultaneous use between text-centric sites and video sites. Among CIMM TV viewers, for example, 90 percent accessed email, search or social media sites with watching TV, but only 65 percent of TV viewers simultaneously accessed CIMM and online video sites. Simultaneous usage by PC users was equivalent to TV users for text-centric content, but significantly less in terms of time spent for video sites.

Simultaneous video consumption

Arbitron/CIMM Cross-Platform Pilot Panelists
Persons 18+; Sunday-Sunday 6AM-6AM
January 2012

CIMM TV + email/search/social sites

CIMM TV + Video Sites



Simultaneous Users



Simultaneous Users

TV 55:00 90% TV 55:00 65%
PC 50:03 93% PC 6:36 72%
Mobile 4:56 78% Mobile 1:09 43%

How the Arbitron/CIMM single-source, three-screen pilot was conducted

Arbitron recruited an opt-in panel of approximately 500 people aged 18 and older from retiring Portable People Meter respondents to participate in the CIMM pilot. With their permission, Internet and mobile measurement was added to the scope of their PPM panel participation.

The PPM technology measured each panelist’s exposure to any encoded audio content of local and national television, cable, and radio broadcasts and other media entities.

To measure Internet usage, Arbitron PC meter software (acquired from IMMI in 2010) was downloaded to panelist home and/or work computers to passively capture PC-based Internet usage from all panelists aged 18 and over.

To track mobile usage, panelists downloaded Arbitron mobile software (acquired from IMMI in 2010) onto their smartphones to track URLs visited on their mobile phones. The IMMI mobile software used of the CIMM pilot panel supported Android and BlackBerry phones.

About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) was founded by several leading television content providers, media agencies, and advertisers to promote innovation in audience measurement for television and cross-platform video. CIMM is exploring and identifying new methodologies and approaches to audience measurement through a series of pilot studies with independent measurement companies focusing on two key areas: the current and future potential of television measurement through set-top-box data, and new methods for cross-platform media measurement.

Current members are: A+E Networks, Belo, CBS Corporation, Carat USA, ConAgra, Discovery Communications, Gannett, GroupM, Hearst, Interpublic Group Mediabrands, LEGO Systems, Inc., Microsoft, NBC Universal, News Corporation, Omnicom Media Group, P&G, Publicis Groupe, Scripps Networks, Time Warner, Unilever, Univision Communications, Viacom, and The Walt Disney Company.

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media–radio, television, cable and out-of-home; the mobile industry, as well as advertising agencies and advertisers around the world. Arbitron’s businesses include: measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of U.S. consumers; providing mobile audience measurement and analytics in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, and developing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company has developed the Portable People Meter® (PPM®) and the PPM 360™, new technologies for media and marketing research.

Portable People Meter®, PPM® and PPM 360™ are marks of Arbitron Inc.
Android, BlackBerry, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube are marks of their respective owners.

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