Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eggs & Baskets

Do country stations have too many eggs in one basket?

Eye-balling the latest ad-tracking data from both Mediaguide and Media Monitors concerns me that our format does, but we are not alone. As radio formats become more targeted and PPM's small sample sizes make rankers more compressed after you get beyond the top three or four high cume stations, advertisers naturally appear to seek out those formats most likely to reach their prospective customers making more decisions on listener qualitative.

The result: some format's advertisers are more consolidated among certain types of advertisers than others. For example, country stations get most of our total ad revenues from three categories -- entertainment and amusement, automotive and food/beverages. If you add department/discount stores plus travel in the station I just looked at, you're seeing more than three of four dollars being billed by country radio's monitored stations in the largest markets.

It's important to note that they don't reflect very much small and medium market radio, where (hopefully!) more local direct means that perhaps those stations are more wide-ranging in their account lists.

Tip to management: It might be worth looking at next year's account goals as you budget for 2011 with an extra bonus for diversification, just in case there's still another post-mid-term-election economic downturn that affects one or more of the "big five" categories of business for your format!

PS: while I was browsing the ad monitoring data, I tripped across these fast factoids:

1. Media Monitors found that with the latest week, they see increases in units for Radio and TV, but a slight decrease in Cable for BP oil company ads.

2. Mediaguide shows an uptick last week for auto ads, theme parks and beer. (Ya have to love the widget on their website which offers this constantly-updated and fascinating stat....)
In the last minute:
  • 152 Ads played
  • 398 Songs played

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