Arbitron Ratings: Fun, and Not A Scam!
I have always been the kind of person that likes getting my point of view counted, and I also love having stats taken. I love it so much that when I was in college, I actually volunteered to be the one to put on a tight bathing suit and get into an egg-looking thing to measure my body density, calculating body fat percentage from that, as a demonstration in one of my Exercise Science classes. I love taking online quizzes that seem somewhat legitimate, keep an eye out for clinical trials I'm eligible for, and when I get tests done at the doctor's office I always ask for the specific results so I can look them over myself.
So, it shouldn't be a surprise that when a media-viewing survey came in the mail last year with a crisp $5 bill in it, I filled out their page-long questionnaire and mailed it back. They sent me a $10 bill, and another questionnaire, which I filled out and sent back. About a month later, I got an information packet inviting Husband and I to be part of the Arbitron ratings! I poured through the information packet, called the number included, and enrolled in the ratings.
That was December of 2009. We were part of the ratings for almost a year, ending a couple weeks ago. The maximum amount of time they include any one family in the ratings is two years, but something with their numbers changed and they had to drop some of the families in our demographic. I really enjoyed it—Husband and I each had a little meter, which was about the size of a deck of cards with the top inch or so cut off. The meter recorded what radio stations we listened to and TV stations we watched, and in return we got checks for between $45 and $55 each per month. Hooray date money! We both liked the idea that our choices mattered, especially when we changed radio stations during particularly annoying commercials… Plus, we didn't have to do a journal or anything like that, so that's a plus!
So, the Arbitron ratings were a lot of fun, and if you ever get a media survey in the mail from them, know that it's not a scam and you can get paid a decent amount of money to participate!
Arbitron is not paying me specifically for this post… They did pay me for my participation, but I'm not part of the panel anymore—which is why I'm allowed to talk about it.