With a New Year’s Eve announcement and public data release, Arbitron PPM audience estimates are now the buy/sell “currency” in 14 local markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Detroit, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Riverside-San Bernardino and San Jose.
16 country stations in these cities are now rated by PPM, seven of them just received their first official metered ratings for the survey dates November 13 - December 10.
The average 6+ share of the other nine, which also had a November PPM monthly dropped by 17% from that previous month.
Since “shares” are a zero-sum game, when someone goes down, someone else goes up. And, it’s no mystery who gained at country’s expense. The average share of the 14 “all Christmas” stations, mainly AC and Christian, in those same markets went up 42%.
Don’t put your anti-depressants away quite yet, since the PPM “Holiday 2008” survey dates are December 11 - January 7 and those numbers will be released in about three weeks.
Two bits of better news: the diary survey ended on December 10, so at least those markets don’t have to cope with even more impact of solid Holiday music, after a fall survey period which has been affected by election, economy and the holiday spirit.
Even in the PPM markets, the January 2009 survey begins on January 8 and ends on February 4. Hopefully, as it appeared last year, country listeners will have returned to their normal listening patterns on December 26.
Question: why are we even talking 'shares,' since PPM metrics tend to compress shares, making a few high-cumers the big 'share' winners leaving the majority of the others to compete in a game of fractions?
Wouldn't it make more sense to talk reach? Or at least quarter hour persons?
PS: Arbiton's Gary Marince says that these markets account for 51.7 percent of the estimated radio station revenue in the top 50 radio markets. ARB plans to commercialize the PPM radio ratings service in Boston with the release of the March PPM survey report (March 5-April 1), which will bring PPM currency to 15 major U.S. markets.
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