Thursday, June 21, 2007

What's ARB Doing To The Philadelphia PPM Panel?

It looks like they are adding African-Americans. And, that doesn't appear to be good for country. Cume increases and TSL drops continue, and ubiquity - as B-100, KYW and WMMR's consistency and growth show (click for the Radio Ink report).

The fate of more niche-driven and geo-demographic lifestyle formats is less certain at this point. A year ago, I loved watching (and believed it was reality since I think country faces a real challnge in diary placement as ethnic and younger demo formats get increased premiums and special treatment) country WXTU's cume growth increase its shares and keep them there month after month.

Now, as the pressure from ethnic broadcasters to add more of their listeners to the panel increases it appears that country shares are dropping (Urban WDAS is now #4 in 6+ cume (from 802,100 last month to 868,900 now) and has been going up in rank in each of the last three months and country WXTU has been falling in rank, while continuing to hold a much larger cume than before). WXTU cume dropped this month to 857,900 from the previous month's 866,300, which is still higher than it ever was in diaries.

Hopefully, the weighting factors that appeared to give country a fairer shake aren't being rejiggered, to our detriment.

TSL in the average diary last year was 20 hours a week. Last month's average TSL for the People Meter samples was twelve and a half hours, a slight uptick from the previous month's twelve and a quarter hours a week.

That makes Persons Using Radio appear to drop, about 28%, which means that cost per point increases by about the same amount. Our sellers are going to face some real challenges as this wave rolls over more markets.

One thing for sure: it isn't going to make much sense if radio has to pay more for PPM measurement which only ends up giving buyers a bigger, more state-of-the-art stick to beat us up with. We need to learn a whole new way to position our medium, now.

Arbitron needs to do a lot more public relations, research studies, education sessions, training to help, since they are the only company, thus far, that - as I see it - stands to gain financially as radio adopts the PPM.

No comments: