Saturday, September 30, 2006
The good news is that it has really been this way all along, but when the Fall ARB comes out and validates how strong non-commercial broadcasting is what will the impact be on media buyers?
Thursday, September 28, 2006
.. and you have to pat the RAEL Committee on the backs for doing impeccable work, which not only positions our medium very effectively but also looks better and more credible the closer you look at all of the stats and methodology.
The full report can be downloaded by clicking below.
* Personal Relevance Two: Radio's Receptive Ad Environment (published September 2006)
* Executive Summary: Personal Relevance Two: Radio's Receptive Ad Environment (four-page summary of the results)
Does your content and self-promotion "provide a pathway to the consumer's mind that can provide better emotional connections?
Of the four media examined in the study, radio was clearly chosen as the medium most closely linked with personal mood enhancement, relaxation, and motivation. 55% of respondents said radio was the medium most likely to improve their mood compared to the other three media in the study."
Is your choice of language and other theater of the mind tools our medium offers making the most of this possibility?
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Faced with dozens of competing tourneys with high admission fees and million dollar hole-in-one challenges, when Trapane was PD at 106.7 The Drive in Detroit a couple years ago he set up a Workin' Man's Golf Tournament and opened it up to 144 guys and offered free beer for a year to the winning foursome. Foursome were determined by phone callers with the best reason to take the day off and play golf. After a few complaints, female foursome were welcomed in and with cooperation from Molson, no one went thirsty. The 5th teebox was even converted into a recycling center.
Now, he's PD at the same station, reinvented as a country station in February 2005 and has created a very popular You Tube viral TV campaign, which you must watch.
Two in three "Brand Sirens" care about the brands they use, seven in 10 say they love some brands, and two-thirds of those surveyed feel there are important differences between brands. In addition, the study found that young people actually want to be brand-loyal; in fact, 43 percent of the Brand Sirens wish they could find brands they could stick with and more than 40 percent would switch brands if another brand came onto the market that seemed more enticing.
Even more striking, among the Brand Sirens surveyed, 82 percent indicated that they talk about brands with their friends; 87 percent enjoy sharing information about brands; 85 percent appreciate brands that keep their promises; and more than half (54 percent) wish they could find brands to stick with. In addition, 70 percent of those surveyed send e-mails to friends about products and services, and 77 percent post reviews and product feedback online.
The research suggests that Brand Sirens are uber-influencers who indulge in passions and interests around which they develop a specific expertise. These passions motivate them to search all available sources for updates and developments in their areas of interest, and lead to in-depth knowledge about the products and services, and brands related to their interest areas. As a result, they become experts not only about a particular topic, but also the products that serve that interest and the brands within those categories. In fact, the study found that "the majority of Brand Sirens believe they are smarter than the brands or marketers themselves," observed Pip Marquez De La Plata, vice president, marketing, CNET Networks Entertainment.
The study also underscored how much this group values authenticity and candor in marketing with 6 in 10 (58 percent) participants saying they are pleasantly surprised when they discover a brand that lives up to its promises, and 7 in 10 (67 percent) indicating they will spend more to purchase a brand they know and trust.
-- Media Post reporter Tobi Elkin
Monday, September 25, 2006
Why does every story like this, it seems, HAVE to have a cowboy boot graphic?
Color, it seems, is what drove KZLA, the country station with the nation's second-highest billings, to drop the format. Country attracts an almost all-white audience, and in some big cities, including Los Angeles and New York, whites are in the minority. Increasingly, radio companies believe they can fine-tune other music formats to create the largest possible audience of black, Latino and white listeners.
Whites are barely more than 40 percent of the population in the Los Angeles area, and country listeners are about 98 percent white, Rick Cummings, president of radio at Emmis Communications (which owns KZLA), told the Los Angeles Times. "My job is to attract as large an audience as possible," he said. "KZLA is now playing music that appeals to Hispanic adult women, and that will hopefully attract other suburban women of different ethnicities."
WMZQ, (Washington)'s audience is about 95 percent white, (PD George) King says, just as the Washington area's top-rated stations -- which tend to be hip-hop and black hits stations -- attract overwhelmingly black audiences. But one crucial difference in listening habits might portend a difficult future for country on the radio: Blacks and Latinos tend to listen to radio for much longer each day than do whites.
-- Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tim McGraw has added the Warren Brothers to the line up for “Swampstock 2006.”
The all-star event will take place on Saturday, October 7 at the Tim McGraw Sports Complex in Rayville, Louisiana. “Swampstock 2006” is a presentation of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation and is brought to you in part by the new AT&T: your world delivered and is sponsored locally by Coca-Cola. Net proceeds from the activities will benefit Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation’s local initiatives.Among those already confirmed to appear with McGraw are Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Hot Apple Pie, Redneck Rockstars and Catherine Raney. Gates will open at 9:00am for a 10:00am softball game and the concert will follow at approximately 3:30pm. Ticket prices are $30.00 in advance (plus applicable service charges) and $35.00 at the gate, with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Advance tickets may be purchased online at: www.timmcgraw.com.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Platforms Struggle To Perfect Economic Models For High Definition. At end 2005, Kagan estimates there were 17.6 mil. HD TV households includingover-the-air, a figure that will surpass 100 mil. by 2012.
With word of a $99 HDRadio coming from Ibiquity only now, how much longer will RADIO take to HD?
Let's face it: we're not even at the 2003 TV HD penetration number yet and I have yet to hear an HD-2 format, other than perhaps country in New York and Los Angeles, that would make someone go out and spend $100 to get it.
Mediapost's Wayne Friedman:
It was CBS' turn on Wednesday--albeit in a weaker night overall for prime-time TV with ABC in quasi-rerun mode. CBS, thanks to season debuts of "CSI: NY," "Criminal Minds," and new show "Jericho," earned steady numbers, pulling in an overall average of 4.2 rating/12 share in preliminary Nielsen estimates. Next was ABC. But without its usual Wednesday-night powerhouse "Lost," as well as two reruns of "Grey's Anatomy," ABC only pushed to a 3.7/10 for the evening. "Grey's" earned a 3.8/11. The "Dancing with the Stars" 8 p.m. results show slipped to a 3.7/11, but still won its time period. Perhaps the biggest surprise was with the CW--debuting in its official premiere night with a two-hour "America's Next Top Model," beating up on Fox. The CW pulled in a 2.6/7, for fourth-place overall, besting Fox with a 2.2/6 and Univision at a 1.8/5. CW's "Model" struck a chord with a strong 3.3 rating in adults 18-34, and a 2.6/7 in adults 18-49. The show was the net's only show of the night. NBC didn't get such good news. The net pulled in a third-place spot with a 3.0/8. Its new "Kidnapped" drama got off the ground with only a 2.8 rating in adults 18-49--coming in fourth at 10 p.m., well behind CBS's "CSI: NY" premiere and a "Grey's Anatomy" rerun. CBS had better news with its new drama, "Jericho," although it wasn't as highly recommended by critics or media buyers. The show, starring Skeet Ulrich, averaged a 3.2 at 8 p.m., drawing 11.4 million total viewers and coming in second place to "Dancing with the Stars."
Thursday, September 21, 2006
It's a perennial complaint every time, over in the business pages, this paper does its annual "Readers Rate the Ads" survey: Why are the ads so much louder than the programs?
A typical complaint from this year's submissions: "The raising of the volume on TV ads drives our dog, neighbor and us up the wall. We immediately mute the volume, so the advertisers' money is wasted."
Wrote another: "I can't tell you how many people I know that are wearing out their mute buttons on their remotes or TiVo-ing and fast-forwarding through the ads."
Columnist, Bill Virgin: "Change those references to "scan" or a preset button on a car radio and you've got much the same issue for radio broadcasters."
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Mark Ramsey, president of San Diego-based Mercury Radio Research, will remind conventioneers of things that are right about radio in a presentation today.
Mr. Ramsey says radio folks read newspapers and magazines and watch television. And the media like to report on what's hot. "The assumption is that if something's hot in the moment, something else must be cool in the moment," he says. "There are a lot of strengths that radio has evident in the research that we've done. It's not the story that's being told."
His company compared the images that consumers have in their minds of commercial radio, satellite radio, MP3 players and cellphone radio.
"We get into this mode where we think, 'Commercial radio is a bad satellite radio, or commercial radio is a bad iPod,' " he says. "But they're different. In fact, if they weren't different, the new introduction wouldn't be successful. Here's why: Satisfaction with radio is overwhelming." In a 1,000-person national study that his company did of people ages 12 through 54, just 11 people said they didn't listen to radio.
.. but, with only a minimum of sour grapes and tongue firmly in cheek, he takes it like a man!
Email the poor guy your condolences..
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Rick Haskins, marketing chief for the fledgling CW network, does more than talk about reaching prospective viewers one at a time. At a recent CW promotion at a Los Angeles mall, Haskins volunteered to help operate a 300-degree-plus decal machine printing network slogans onto free T-shirts for an unexpectedly big crowd of several thousand.
"To reach its intended audience of 18- to 34-year-olds, the network wants to engage them where they live - in the digital world."
Monday, September 18, 2006
Yes, enlarging these graphics makes them blur a bit. But, even if they were clearer, it's still enough to give you a big headache unless you're lucky enough, like A&O country clients to target 25+.
Edison's Larry Rosin says:
· While broadcasters often point to an increase in the raw number of Persons Using Radio to offset any concern about a decline in TSL, that number has finally flattened – counteracted by the significant increase in the number of people who now report no listening to radio at all. In fact, more than 11% of boys 12-17 now report no weekly radio listening at all.
· The decline in 12-24 listening dates back to the early 90s -- a time when few broadcasters were willing to target listeners under 24. While broadcasters showed a renewed interest in younger targeted formats in the mid-to-late 90s, recent years have seen a renewed emphasis on gold-based 25-plus formats and a graying of the programming talent pool.
· Perhaps of most concern, tracking of questions on attitudes about radio among this crucial group trend down as well. Fewer young people expect radio to be an important part of their future lives.
ZD Net's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes isn't thrilled with it this far:
"I'm not doing to rule out the Zune as a future iPod killer (the iPod's market share has declined as of late, from over 80% to just over 70%, so that might be an indication that the tide is turning), but in the first-generation incarnation I don't see it making much of a dent because there's not enough about it that elevates it above the iPod. So, no, the Zune we’ll be seeing over the Holidays this year is no iPod killer. Now, add a phone, and Microsoft might be onto something …"
Based on interviews with radio listeners in ten national markets*, Bridge Ratings released today its updated analysis of podcast use. Phone interviews were conducted with members of the Bridge Ratings Podcast Panel to measure their use of podcasts over time. This is an on-going study of podcast users and not the general population.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
The 2006 broadcast year, ending August 27th, was remarkable for radio in Canada. Specifically, between January and July of this year, national radio sales in Canada were up 10.4% over last year, a stark contrast to the United States which experienced marginal growth of 1.0% during the same time frame.
Ontario continues to lead Canada in terms of total national radio advertising, accounting for 39% of sales by imsradio. The economic boom in Alberta was reflected in increased radio spending, up 26%. Alberta now ranks second, making up 23% of national sales. Quebec, which comprises 21% of sales was up 11.3%.
Although media buying agencies make up the vast majority of national radio sales, increased focus on emerging categories and non-traditional radio advertisers has introduced more clients to the power of the medium. Client-direct sales by imsradio increased by 46% over last year.
“We are continually striving to find new ways radio can meet the needs of advertisers,” says imsradio President and CEO Ron Hutchinson. “The flexibility of the medium has given our clients unparalleled opportunities to reach their target consumers.”
Spending by the Retail category has been steadily increasing over the past three years and is now the top spending category on imsradio-represented stations, surpassing Automotive which was down 2.7%. Restaurants, Government and Health Care round out the top five, which in total account for 48% of total revenue.
Top 5 Categories by Spending Retail 14.6% Automotive 12.7% Restaurants 8.0% Health Care 7.0% Government 5.9% TOTAL 48.2%
Non-alcoholic beverages was the leading growth category, up 214% from a year ago. This booming category has seen a five-fold increase in radio spending in just three years. Spending by Business Equipment advertisers was up by 182%, quadrupling since 2004.
Top 5 Categories by Percentage Increase vs. Year Ago Beverages - Non-Alcoholic 214% Business Equipment 182% Real Estate 127% Government 51% Associations & Groups 46% The 25-54 demographic continues to dominate radio buying. This group accounted for 53.9% of total imsradio spending in 2006, up from 52.0% last year.
However, the aging of the population is beginning to be reflected in national radio buying. Adult 35+ and older buys have been on the rise, up 4.0% from a year ago, with Health Care spending comprising much of the growth.
In spite of claims to the contrary, radio continues to prosper with younger demos. Men 18-34 and 18-49 still remained strong (up 13.7% and 38.8% respectively), while Women 18-34 are up four-fold.
“The 2007 broadcast year is off to a great start. Both advertisers and agencies are increasingly recognizing the effectiveness and efficiencies radio has to offer. We look forward to working with them to make 2007 another successful year.”
Friday, September 15, 2006
With fall upon us, consumers have football on the brain (along with a little tennis)…college football is what’s hot this month, according the majority of consumers. Almost as many say the same for recently retired tennis great Andre Agassi, while women also indicate that tunic tops and slouch boots are must-haves for fall…
What’s Not? It looks like Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild could soon be back on the unemployment line…more than 85% of TV viewers contend that they won’t go knocking on the door at Fashion House.
Keith returned from London this past week, where he performed at the EMI Conference. He is back in Nashville, where he is putting the finishing touches on Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing.
Thanks to Chris Harding, Asst PD at BX-93, London for uncovering this fun factoid for us.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
"Music is clearly a means for improving people's moods. Now we think we know why," writes Toronto neuroscientist Daniel Levitin in "This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession."
It turns out, according to Levitin, that music stimulates the parts of our brains that deal with emotion and make us feel good by tinkering with the levels of happy-time chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Kind of like ---- you guessed it ---- an antidepressant."
A lot of people do use music to self-medicate," Levitin said in an interview. "To get going in the morning, to motivate them to exercise or clean the house, to calm them at night or comfort them after a stressful or sad event."
In fact, singer Joni Mitchell "told me that before there was Prozac, there was her," Levitin added. (He knows Mitchell and lots of other rock stars because he used to be a music producer.)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
That, of course, is an over-simplification, but according to the Harte-Hanks Postfuture Index of comparative e-mail metrics for January-June 2006 among 13 industry categories, restaurants enjoyed the best open rates at 167.7% (open rates exceeding 100% occur by way of pass-alongs, and reopened e-mail) as well as the best click-through rates at 57.5%.
Retail had the lowest open rate (35.3%), while the automotive sector had the lowest click-through rate (5.7%).
Among all sectors for all purposes of e-mail combined, the average delivered rate stands at 91.2% -- with an average open rate of 78.8% of those e-mail delivered, click-through rate of 18.4% of all e-mail delivered, and an opt-out rate of 0.4% of all e-mail delivered.
E-mail sent to consumers received the higher click-through rates of 19.9% and open rates of 78.9%, while business-to-business e-mail had rates of 11.2% and 67.7%, respectively.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Media Post's Seana Mulcahy asks: "So what do we do as a culture on a day like the 9/11 anniversay each year? More specifically, what do we do in our industry? Do we advertise or not? If we do advertise today via any media online or offline, do we change our creative and copy? Do we pay tribute or do we treat it like any day?"
Hopefully, we will over time find a way to get back to business as usual, while never allowing our children and their children to forget what happened on 9/11 and why.
Last weekend on Ebert & Roper, Toby Keith’s movie, “Broken Bridges” got thumbs up from Richard Roeper. He said, “I like the sweetness of it and it just worked for me. I thought Toby Keith was quite natural, he did a good job and I liked Kelly Preston. I liked the music, I liked the sweetness of the story so I went along with it, it’s a family film. I usually dump on films like this…. But I have to be honest when I walk out of the theater and I enjoyed it, I had a good time with this,” Roeper said.
"We are in discussions with the evaluation team to see whether it makes sense for Nielsen to enter the measurement of radio," said a spokeswoman for Nielsen, which is owned by privately-held VNU. Talks between Nielsen and radio officials could shake up the $20 billion industry. The
spokeswoman was referring to a cross-industry group of 20 companies, including radio giants Clear Channel Communications (Charts), Entercom Communications, other broadcasters, advertisers and media buyer agencies, which are currently evaluating new radio audience measurement technology. Nielsen's potential entry comes as Arbitron is trying to upgrade and win industry approval for its new tracking device known as the portable people meter, a pager-like gadget that tracks users' media exposure. At stake in the audience measurement search are
the rates the $20 billion radio industry can charge for advertising.
I've been wondering when THIS was going to happen for the last year, since Nielsen pulled out of their cooperative venture with ARB several years ago. Arbitron had been hoping the two firms would use PPM to measure both radio and television, as well as all other media. The 'measured media' field is going to be huge, much bigger than either ARB's radio or Nielsen's TV businesses are today. Small wonder that many players want to get into it.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Broadway and country music artists such as Lee Ann Womack will join forces at the second annual "Broadway Meets Country" gala event on October 30th at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Stars from the worlds of country music and Broadway will join together in a cabaret-like setting, with Broadway performers will sing their favorite country songs and country artists singing their favorite Broadway show tunes--and there may even be a few duets paring the artists together.
Thanks to Universal's Katie Dean for alerting us to it (which is how A&O learned that Lee Ann will be one of the country representatives).
Nashville-based researcher John Hart reports:
BROOKS & DUNN “BUILDING BRIDGES” stays strong as the # 2 song overall at R&R Callout America and as the # 3 Like A Lot song, Passion UP from last weeks # 6. At just 15 weeks of age this song is the youngest song in the Top 5. FEMALES are the strength ranking B&D at # 2 and as the # 4 Passion song. CORE 35-44s overall rank the song at # 2 and as the # 4 Passion song. A strong 11 to 1 Positive to Negative ratio indicates continued strength and growth. 70% of all listeners want to hear this song more often on the radio.
I suppose the fact that it was produced by Viacom's "CMT Films" and not Paramount Pictures should have been a clue that this one is not destined to compete for an Academy Award but just a fun night of light entertainment that will no doubt have a long and productive life on video, but it seems that some critics went expecting something more and were disappointed.
It's nice to see that the actors received generally-positive mention even from critics who thought the script was trite. You know TK fans won't be disappointed.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
If Rawlco Radio is any example, it may not require any additional governmental regulation to increase Canadian Content from 35% to 40%:
The company that operates Z99, Jack FM and CJME in Regina, as well as C95, Rock 102 and CKOM in Saskatoon, is making investments in Saskatchewan talent that had previously been unheard of within the province's radio landscape. By now, you may have heard of the wildly successful 10K20 program, which has already contributed a total of $290,000 to 29 Saskatchewan-based artists and musicians ($10,000 each) for recording and furthering the careers of the province's budding music stars. In response to the program's success, Rawlco's seven FM stations throughout the province are now playing 40-per-cent Canadian content. That's five-per-cent higher than CRTC regulations, which call for 35 per cent of a radio's playlist to qualify as "Can-Con."
A&O is delighted present broadcast sessions at 12:45 pm Saturday and 2:15 pm Sunday at this weekend's CCMA Convention in Saint John, and you better believe this topic will come up.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I feel a bit like someone sitting in a blacksmith shop a century ago watching a car drive by and thinking to myself "this is gonna get real big, real fast."
New Yorkers received this message today on their cell phones:
Do YOU have Z100 Mobile Yet?
- Listen Live to Z100!
- Listen to Podcast Interviews!
- See the Title and Artist of the Last 10 Played!
- Make a Request and receive a TXT MSG Song Alert before it plays!
- Download Z100 Wallpapers for your phone!
- Continue the Jump or Dump fun!
- Z100 Real-Time Traffic Reports!
Clear Channel executive VP of distribution development Jeff Littlejohn tells R&R: “By connecting listeners to their favorite radio stations via cell phone, and adding interactive features, Clear Channel Radio has found an additional platform to deliver on-demand entertainment to, and drive listening among its active, on-the-go audiences across the country.”
Littlejohn says some 20-to-30 more popular Clear Channel stations are expected to be added to the service by year’s end and a total of 100 stations will be offered within the next 12 months. He says Clear Channel is also negotiating with wireless carriers Verizon and Sprint to expand the service to their subscribers.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Keith Urban is set to debut new music on September 30th and October 1st at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, at two "Monkeyville," members-only exclusive live events.
The appearances will include the first ever performances of select songs from his forthcoming CD release, as well as some past hits and stories as told by Keith, from the studio about the making of his new album.
Tickets are set to go on-sale to current members of Monkeyville, Keith’s online community, on September 9th at www.ticketmaster.com. New members are invited to join and purchase tickets on September 11th.
An exclusive worldwide online community, Monkeyville was established in 2005 by Urban as a thank you to his fans for their support. Current and new members receive a personalized passport to "Monkeyville," their pass to advance ticket offers, meet and greet drawings, merchandise discounts, exclusive footage, breaking news and more. Much more is planned for the rest of this year as Keith readies the release of his follow-up to the 3x platinum release "Be Here."
According to a new survey by VoiceQuilt, Trends in Gift Giving, 47 percent of all U.S. women buy gifts for 10 or more occasions throughout the year, 25 percent say they gave gifts for 15 or more events, and nineteen percent say they gave gifts for 20 or more occasions in the last 12 months.
2006 VoiceQuilt Trends in Gift Giving Report
Sentimental Gifts Trump All Others According to VoiceQuilt's Survey of U.S. Women
Hope Flammer, chief executive officer and founder of VoiceQuilt, said "What I find so fascinating is... the fact that a non-occasion like 'just because,' is such a popular occurrence for gift giving among the majority of women..."
Don't get me started about when MEN give gifts.. ;-> .. but I'd bet there's some interactive fun in this topic.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Robert F. Potter is a research prof at Indiana University, Bloomington, who says:
"My work builds upon Lang's general theory of motivated mediated processing (read about the general theory here), by expanding it into the area of auditory characteristics, the mechanisms associated with human auditory processing, and media message production. On a more applied level, I'm interested in taking what is known in the area of cognitive science, telecommunication theory, and psychology and applying it to practical questions in the radio and audio industries. "
His areas of interest (set aside some quality time when you click on the links):
1. How do the structural features in audio/radio messages impact attention & memory? If you're interested in this too, click here.
2. How does commercial clutter on radio stations impact attention to commercials, memory for them, and attitudes toward the stations. If you're interested in this too, click here.
i.e., He has found that 'audio complexity,' story-telling, narratives, multi-layering effects with music changes and sound effects do generally capture attention and often improve memorability of messages which follow these things by a few seconds. Exceptions: a sound of a record scratch and the sound of a change in the radio dial. Your production director may love those sounds in promos, but they don't seem to improve the effectiveness of the message which follows them. Could be that, in a digital era, they are audio artifacts of a past culture of several generations ago!
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Charlotte listeners are voting for their favorite dog in the 103.7 WSOC Dog Days of Summer contest this weekend and the grand prize winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 5th during the Tanner in the Morning Show! Click here to view the contestants and the official contest rules.
Factioids: morning radio, as judged by its listeners has gotten better in the last five years (+8% momentum), but it's better for men than it is for women.
The majority want "real people who don't take themselves too seriously who talk about things in the news, local issues and current events." Women want more talk about entertainment and celebrity gossip than men do.
Tuneouts: The host giving opinions (I disagree with), too many commercials, making fun of people with inappropriate humor, too much talk, laughter about things you don't find funny.
Has Katie's departure and all the changes in the lineups of morning TV opened an opportunity for morning radio at home? 31% say they are watching less morning TV lately.
Analog radio has a big head start on internet and satellite. Opie and Anthony have good reason to be optimistic in their return to replace Howard.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Even without the totals from this weekend’s three big tour closing concerts in Las Vegas, Pollstar Magazine tells A&O that the Tim McGraw-Faith Hill Soul2Soul II tour has pulled ahead of Madonna and now ranks as the top grossing tour overall.
At just under $86 million, Tim and Faith are unchallenged at the Top spot for now with an estimated final gross figure for the year that could reach just under $90 million. Pollstar projects the only act that could overtake Soul2Soul II is The Rolling Stones. They still have 16 stadium shows on the books for this year, but they are not all sold out. If the stones maintain their average gross figures for these shows they could top well over $100 million and finish at the top of the heap. Bottom line is, Tim and Faith are the Top Grossing country act of 2006 and will likely finish the year as the #1 or #2 tour overall.