Fact #1: The average daily in-tab for a "healthy radio station" in ARB's Portable People Meter sample is reportedly seven people.
Fact #2: New York's very first 9/20-10/17 monthly PPM info will be out on 11/7 and the first week (10/18-10/24) data releases on 11/13.
Sure, there were HDRadio stations broadcasting country in Houston and Philadelphia, but in New York City, there's only three places to get country music on your radio: XM, Sirius and WXTU-HD-2.
(It's nice to hear that, after some grumbling earlier this summer, the folks at Edison Research in New Jersey are back to being regular listeners again to the station, programmed by the very savvy and talented Clear Channel format captain for country, Atlanta-based Clay Hunnicutt.)
Now to the non-fact, educated guesses and wishful thinking:
Knowing that all it takes is seven or so to show in PPM numbers, I'd bet that Clear Channel has a longterm Critical Mass Media "Weekly Audience Report" database for New York that goes back years and years. If so, they could email, call and direct mail the former cume and partisans of Y-107, WWYZ (comes in like a local on Long Island), etc in the city to let them know they can get country on HD now and try to drive sales of radios and PPM cume.
Based on New York's former country radio stations (i.e. Michael O'Malley-consulted Y-107, the most recent one and he also programmed the original NBC-owned WYNY), you'd have to guess that there are about a million country fans living in the Gotham metro area.
How many of them are research responsive, meaning that they love giving their opinions in surveys and are the most likely to agree to carry a PPM? 400,000?
In the diary methodology, that means you'd likely have to reach at least 400 of them during a typical 12 week survey period in hopes you could impact their radio usage. With the PPM, it only takes seven, and they might remain in the panel for up to two years.
So, yes, it's a needle in a haystack, but the payoff for searching for it could be huge, not only for country music in New York but also to show the impact of HDRadio. And, I wouldn't be surprised if Clear Channel has the tools already in-house to make that search a lot easier.
Using SSI and Prizm plus the CMM WAR historical database, I'd lay odds that Clear Channel could do a mailing, followed up with automated calling, emails, giving away free or at the least very low cost ($25-$50) HD Radios to those people who they know love country radio and are quite likely to be willing to become an ARB PPM panelist very efficiently.
Wouldn't it be impressive if New York Country 103.5 HD2 showed up with seven active panelist listeners in the first few months of PPM results? What would that do for country? For HDRadio? How much would that be worth to all of us?
I hope Clear Channel isn't so preoccupied with going private right now that they don't have the time to consider such exciting possibilites..