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Rules for Quoting Your Arbitron and Scarborough Data

NOTE: The following are the new Rules for Quoting Your Data that take effect with RRC's 2008-2011 contract with Arbitron. Please note that in order to utilize the new rules, you must have signed a 2008-2011 Sublicense Agreement and returned it to RRC.

As a subscriber to Arbitron and/or Scarborough audience estimates, there are guidelines that you are required to follow when working with the copyrighted estimates.

The most important rules to follow when quoting Arbitron and/or Scarborough data are to properly source the estimates and to include the copyright notice on any piece you produce.
When citing estimates, always include:

  1. The geography (e.g., Metro or TSA).
  2. The estimate type (e.g., AQH, Cume or AQH Composition Index).
  3. The demographic (e.g., Persons 6+, Persons 12+ or Persons 18+).
  4. The daypart (e.g., Mon-Sun, 6AM-Midnight).
  5. The survey period (e.g., Spring 2008 or March 2007- August 2008).
  6. The copyright (e.g., Produced by RRC from Data © 2008 Arbitron, Inc. or Prepared with Qualitap © 2008 Arbitron, Inc. from Data © Release 1 2008 12 Month Scarborough)

You must be licensed to the most recently published data in your market to use the estimates outside of your station.

Remember that misuse of Arbitron or Scarborough data is considered to be copyright infringement. This includes use of data by non-subscribers.

Whenever citing audience estimates, you should ask yourself two questions:

"How easily can a non-subscribing station get access to what I am publishing?"

"How clear is it to a reader that the estimates are the copyrighted property of Arbitron or Scarborough and can only be used by licensed subscribers?"

Guidelines for some specific situations:

  • Inside your station, you may share and post any commercial or non-commercial station estimate to which you are licensed. However, in case an internal report leaves the station, make sure that you include the appropriate copyright notice on whatever is routed around the station.
  • In a one-on-one pitch to an advertiser, you may quote any estimate in your reports, commercial or non-commercial. You may share any estimates for your station or any other station in the market. Every estimate you cite in a report must be properly sourced as listed above and must include a copyright notice.
  • In direct mail to a targeted list of advertisers, use the same guidelines as the one-on-one pitch, except that you should strengthen the copyright notice. For example: "© 2008 Arbitron, Inc. May not be quoted or reproduced without the prior written permission of Arbitron."
  • In newspaper and magazine ads, you may print any commercial or non-commercial station estimate to which you are licensed. Every estimate you cite must be properly sourced as listed above and must include a copyright notice. However, we don't advocate quoting other station's estimates. Why not talk about your station's audience and position in the marketplace?
  • On your own air, airing announcements that reference Arbitron or ratings or rankings may violate Arbitron’s survey policy and your station may run the risk of being delisted from Arbitron’s published survey results. Avoid any references to Arbitron, ratings, rankings or surveys on your airwaves.
  • For local newspapers, Arbitron provides the press with access to Persons 12+ AQH Shares for diary markets, Persons 6+ for PPM markets (Scarborough is Persons 18+). Any estimate beyond the broadest demographic goes beyond the bounds of "fair use" in the U.S. Copyright Act. Beyond the broadest estimates, you may provide a reporter with any of your station's audience estimates, but you must keep your analysis of estimates for other stations to a characterization. Do not send rankers to a reporter.
  • Use of Arbitron and Scarborough estimates on your station's website falls into two categories: If your website is open to anyone, then you may only cite the broadest demographic, M-Su 6A-12M estimates available for your station; estimates for other stations in your market may not be published. However, if access is password-controlled, then you may present estimates in the secure area within the guidelines listed above for targeted mailings to advertisers.

If you have any questions or require additional guidance, please contact RRC at 301-774-6686 or

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