Friday, January 14, 2005

Mike Does The Navigauge Math

Maybe you saw ( "When it comes to spot sets, size matters. Navigauge distills results from a huge study 46,000 stopsets and 127,000 commercials monitored and comes up with some fascinating stuff. For starters, :30 spots in the break’s first position retain more audience than first-position :60 commercials. "

An editorial comment on all of the following from yours truly: if you cater to in-car listeners and at the same time lose your longer TSL at work audience by stopping more times per hour than your competition does, you could LOSE the P-1 diary battle.

That means the best strategy continues to be (as far as A&O is concerned):
...Limiting commercials to 10-12 units per hour (or even fewer!).
...Clustering your units in equal size stopsets of at least four-five units.
...Only go to a third break when you have to play more than six units in a break.
...Minimize the units by pushing prices up not by stopping more times per hour or forcing advertisers to buy shorter units than they feel they need. After all, two :30 units is more interruptions than one :60. The goal IS to do well in rating diaries, right??

Michael O'Malley (732 937-5757 or, always the statistician, actually ran the Navigauge numbers and if the audience was ONLY in car, there is a slight advantage for shorter breaks and stopping one more time per hour:

Start with 10000 "in car" persons at the beginning of the hour. Applying the research math, here's the theorhetical audience flow over two hours for both two and three break hours:

3 Break Hours:
Audience left after 1st break: 6600, after the 2nd break: 4356, after the 3rd break: 2875, after 1st break 2nd hour 1897, after 2nd break 2nd hour: 1252, after 3rd break, second hour 827

2 Break Hours:
Audience left after 1st break: 5000, after the 2nd break: 2500, after 1st break 2nd hour 1250, after 2nd break 2nd hour: 625

Navigauge CEO Tim Cobb says the mobile listener is the most discriminating listener that can be studied. You can get a copy of the just-released study from Navigauge SVP Drew Simpson at 770-829-6480.

Theorhetical? Of course. The point is, even ignoring the above math that calls the conclusion that three shorter sets are better than two longer ones, the research doesn't address what three stop sets does to the "plays the most music perception."

As long as we are measured by what people think they listened to, we must do all we can to reinforce key perceptions that drive ratings. "The most music at work" is one of the most critical perceptions to maintain if we're to capture P1 TSL that is so often a critical ratings driver. I think - in terms of stop sets - less IS more.

Not being one to let things go, O'Malley says "I ran my formula all the way out over an 8-hour workday. the results: no measurable difference in audience. both left stations were left with less than half a person. "

When we're measured by people meters, shorter sets will matter. but as long as what people listen to is based on their perceptions, holding a more music perception against a competitor is a good thing. I don't see how adding 50% more stop sets improves the more music perception."

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