Arbitron just put the wraps on a Consultant-only conference call to address the “cell phone only” issue. Since the Arbitron Advisory Council presented the findings of our Technology Web Poll regarding “cell phone only” listening, Arbitron has made some moves.
Aside from their past studies on the topic, they'll be fielding a test this summer in six markets to (among other things) determine whether “cell phone only” listeners have different radio tastes than everyone else. Our Web poll strongly suggested that's the case, especially working against Alternative.
On the call, I urged them to make sure there are Alternative stations in at least some of the six metros in which they're going to run the test – assuming there are Alternative stations left by the summer (just kidding). Alternative is an important format, and we want to make sure it's well-represented in their study. Unfortunately, the earliest Arbitron can truly address this problem is 2006, but give them credit for keeping their customers in touch with their progress.