Monday, November 29, 2010

Country's Upper Demos Are More Loyal In PPM Too

Inside Radio's report this morning on what's called "the largest format study ever based on PPM data" now includes radio’s 30 largest markets, calculated from an average of the January-September 2010 surveys, which will be presented next week in Baltimore, demonstrates that the less ethnic the market, the better the cume of the average country station and the country format overall.

“Yes, you have to have a high cume, and more specifically a high P1 cume,” says Research Director, Inc. partner Charlie Sislen. “But you also need high TSL among P1s, even though they are only a small portion of your total audience.”

The fewer country stations in a market the better in that measure the average PPM-rated country station appears to do, especially in younger demos.

18-34's average station share indexes .92 of the 6+ share of 3.9, while the 18-34 country format share is. .95 of the country format share of 7.4. The average country station share in these 30 markets 18-49 and 25-54 is .95 of the 6+ share, respectively, and 35-64 the average station share is a one to one relationship with 6+. Country format indexes by demo are better 18-49 (.99) and 35-64 (1.03), and worse in the more competitive 25-54 demo (.97).

Two educated guesses from a non-statistician:
  1. PPM tends to favor country stations with the broadest demo P-1 cume reach across all age groups and may punish ones with narrower targets on the young side.
  2. Compressed shares of audience are probably not due to PPM technology per se, but look to me to be the result of small samples which can under-represent any station or format which doesn't have very similar shares in all geographies and age groups.
Woe to you if you have a weak signal or a station/format with polarized appeal or which does better in only some metro zip codes, demos or ethnicities.

Good for you if you dominate your format's listening profile. To the usage leader go the spoils.

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