Thursday, February 25, 2010

Country Listeners: 80% Caucasian, But Increasingly Hispanic

Just as Arbitron reports on Black and Hispanic radio audiences, The Media Audit newly-updated national country qualitative study presented this week to the Albright & O'Malley Pre-CRS client seminar shows that country’s Hispanic audience has been growing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Country Radio: The Backbone Of Rebuilding Domestic Car Sales

Radio-Info's Tom Taylor was in the room yesterday at the Albright & O’Malley Pre-CRS session.

He accurately reports today: The Media Audit country qualitative report presented "should a wakeup call (or jump start, to use another automotive cliché) for sellers at country stations."

With an index number of 125, they’re 25% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to cruise past that Toyota lot and “buy domestic.”

Country radio reaches the most domestic vehicle owners. Country has a cume rating of 14.1 with domestic owners, ahead of News/Talk (13.2), CHR (12.4), Classic Rock (8.8), Dance CHR (8.6) and Public Radio (8.1). Interestingly, those rabid fans of talk radio are near the bottom of domestic car-buying loyalty, at 7.7.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Not A Recession For The Average Country Radio Listener

Of course, unemployment levels are affecting country radio user households as much as they are the average American. However, at today's Albright & O'Malley Pre-CRS Seminar, I'll present data from The Media Audit qualitative national averages which shows that our average listener's household income was actually UP last year. (watch this space all week for more country audience factoids)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Neil Haislop: Brad, Miranda And Justin Rock LA

Friday night the second leg of Brad Paisley's American Saturday Night Tour filled up and sold out L.A.'s monster Staple's Center, Paisley received the Super Star treatment he's long since earned.
As he's been doing on this tour, Brad skips the big sound and light show, bang up, whip-em-into-a-frenzy opening that brings most big stars on stage. Instead, he appears in the darkened house, runs down the ramp to the center of the arena, picks up an acoustic guitar and starts the show alone. The crowd couldn't have been any more wildly enthusiastic if he'd kicked off the show any other way. That's because these true Paisley fans knew the singing, picking and solid, record-setting string of consecutive #1 hits this special, totally original performer was about to gift them. They were not disappointed.

One of the reasons Brad can jump into the action that way is because he's always been smart about who he invites to opening his shows, from Jack Ingram, Taylor Swift, Jimmy Wayne, Dierks Bently and Friday night's opener, fast rising star, Justin Moore, who passed on the growing energy to country's kick-butt diva-in-waiting Miranda Lambert.

Justin came on stage like he belonged there, and his well-received contemporary cowboy repertoire proved that he did. He's doing himself a lot of good on this sold out Paisley tour.

Miranda with her rockin', attitude-charged, Dolly-style, independence and irresistible country charm was...irresistible!.. as she was welcomed as the big star that she is...made so by her completely unique, self-penned repertoire, and high-energy, cool chick songs that appeal to chicks and Chucks alike.

If the American Saturday Night tour is coming your way and it's not already sold-out, run, don't walk, to your computer or ticket window and make sure you see it.

The pranks have begun on Brad’s tour as Moore was the first to be messed with this week. Apparently, Haislop reports, one of Brad’s crew guys came on stage during Justin’s set in Fresno wearing nothing but a big diaper, in recognition of Justin’s new baby girl, Ella Kole, who was born last week. In response, Justin decided to take that same diaper and wear it on stage during the encore song “Alcohol”.

Justin kept his clothes on under the diaper though. Clearly the major punches have yet to be thrown out on the road. We’re certain there’s more craziness from the tour to come!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Are You Better Than Safeway?

If you look at the TOP of the price tags of all Safeway deli bakery items in plastic packaging (i.e. muffins), you will see a statement that reads
"French Bread Hot at 5 p.m. or FREE".

Sounds great, yes?

I live on an island where some six thousand tired and hungry folks get off ferries from downtown Seattle between 4:30 and 6:30 pm. Obviously this offer is a great way to get lots of people to come into the store every single evening, right?

Well, that would be true, until you do it once or twice and find out that most Safeway bakery departments have chosen not to have staff on hand at 5:00 p.m. to ensure that the French bread is hot.

Result: free (cold) french bread for ALL at many Safeway stores!

Which, of course, doesn't actually make folks go to Safeway for hot bread, but instead has made them the subject of ridicule in the coupon blogosphere.

Moral of this story: when you come up with a listener-lifestyle driven "hot French bread" magnet of daily usage to your show/radio station at a specific time, that's an exciting thing.

Unless you stand up your fans one time when they show up for your "date."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Portland, OR Radio Gets Proactive, Puts Business First

My Business First (MBF) is a first of it’s kind marketing campaign created exclusively by The Portland Area Radio Council that includes an impact video, webinar, on-air commercials, and website. The primary goal is to show radio’s pivotal influence to consumers especially emphasizing using the internet PLUS Radio together. The on-air portion of the campaign drives the listener to the MBF website. This is the most compelling part of the campaign since it teaches the listener and the prospect by example how combining radio and Internet creates strong synergy for media planning and allocation.

MBF also uses state of the art statistics retrieval and captures real data from online prospects hoping to prime the market, open doors, and create new opportunities as the economy improves. This is the first campaign of its kind anywhere in the nation.

This integrative campaign is the brainchild of Melissa Kunde, executive director of PARC. Melissa is also the host of the free MBF Webinar called “Getting to First,” where business owners and marketers can ask direct questions, learn how to utilize Radio, and get first hand info about integrative radio marketing technology.

Contrary to media industry myth, radio listening has been positively affected by new technology,” said Ms. Kunde. “Studies show that Radio is an influential companion medium in the media mix. This means people listen to radio simultaneously while on the internet or tuning in with their iphone. MBF not only educates business owners about the value of Radio, it proves by example that when you combine internet with Radio you have one of the most powerful marketing combinations in history.”

Dawn Montefusco, Assistant to the Executive Director, told me that it is "A first of it’s kind radio marketing campaign that includes an impact video, webinar, on-air commercials, and website. If you go to the site, you can check out the impact movie which highlights the new power, and value, of Radio."

Kunde hopes to break-through misunderstandings about Radio in the market. The target audience for MBF is decision makers, CEO’s, marketing directors, business owners and advertising agencies. The tracking capability used for all three components is state-of-the- art using video, flash, embedded web coding, and survey questions to grab the prospects attention and lead them down the marketing funnel. All information that is captured is then sent directly to PARC’s computer system for retrieval.

The council's mission is to promote the power of Radio to create fiscal health for both local businesses and the communities that Radio serves. PARC is also the host of the Radio Summit 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why CRS Is Worth It

"The greatest strength of the Country Radio Broadcasters and CRS is our ability to bring together the most creative, intelligent, passionate, driven individuals in country music.

"It is cliché to say that 'we are greater than the sum of our parts,' but that is exactly what happens.

"Together, magic moments are shared and the enthusiasm is taken back to our respective companies and shared with those on the front line.

"Success happens when great minds get together." -- KMPS/Seattle, PD Becky Brenner to Billboard Country Update's Ken Tucker

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meet the Family

“The better we know our target, the more we can make them a part of our station family, building loyalty and hitting the target where it lives.” - Phillip Beswick, The Media Audit

So, thanks to TMA, A&O's Jaye Albright will be presenting the current qualitative profile of the country format's radio listener as a part of next Tuesday's Albright & O'Malley Pre-CRS client seminar at the downtown Nashville main library auditorium. The A&O presentation covers an extensive array of demographic, socioeconomic and consumer shopping information.

For example, TMA shows that country’s Hispanic audience has been growing, though the format continues to be 80% non-ethnic.

The Media Audit, established in 1971, is a syndicated, local market, multimedia, qualitative audience survey measuring radio, radio dayparts, TV channels viewed in total and by dayparts, TV newscast viewing, daily newspapers and other local and regional print publications, exposure to outdoor billboards, direct mail and local market internet websites.

This will be the third qualitative snapshot of country listeners The Media Audit has performed for the Pre-CRS A&O client meeting since 2006.

It has been two years since the last update, so we’ll focus especially on target changes which impact sales and programming.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surprise! The Super Bowl Was Hot

With a record number tuning in for the Saints/Colts turf war early in the month, it should come as no surprise that Super Bowl XLIV ranked #1 in Big Research's list of What’s Hot this month.

Sandra Bullock and Valentine’s Day fared well, too. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the Apple iPad are highly anticipated among those under 35, while men 35+ are gearing up for the Daytona 500.

What’s Not?

Although fairly popular with the under 35 crowd, 80.8% of consumers are waiting for the cast of Jersey Shore to take their trite talk and tacky spray tans off the airwaves.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tripp Eldridge: Does "The Truth" Hurt?

At the December Arbitron Fly-In Eldridge introduced the concept of "Moments of Truth" and equated them to a radio listening occasion:
“For programmers and marketers, the "Moment of Truth" occurs at the point where a consumer turns on the radio and (virtually instantaneously) makes the decision as to which station they're going to listen to. We looked at several PPM markets across all stations and found that, on average, the typical heavy radio listener has thirty-one unique "moments of truth" each week. That's thirty-one times where they turn on the radio -- radio listening occasions. (We used heavy listeners -- those who listen an hour or more a day -- because, while they represent just half of all consumers, they drive nearly all (88%) of the radio listening. However in case you're wondering, we checked and the average light user has just 7 listening occasions during the course of a typical week. The job of a programmer and marketer is to win as many of those ‘moments of truth’ as possible and the best way to do that is to win them first as soon as the radio is turned on.”

Tripp joined dmr as President and Chief Operating Officer in 1998. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in product management, consumer marketing, and media research.

A&O is excited that he'll be sharing "The Truth" and what to do about it at our Pre-CRS Client Seminar on Tuesday, February 23 in Nashville. RSVP now!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Interactive Media Action Plan

A&O is delighted to have Daniel Anstandig, recently recognized by Billboard Magazine as one of the top five innovators in media and the President of McVay New Media addressing our Pre-CRS client seminar on Tuesday, February 23.
“In 2010, the difference between hitting your budget and not hitting your budget will be interactive advertising. Many of our clients have rewritten job descriptions of key managers in the organization, revised bonus structures to include interactive audience and revenue benchmarks, and adjusted programming and promotions to include on-air and online elements together. Program Directors have been transformed into brand managers. Sellers have been transformed into Client Solutions Specialists, developing marketing plans for their clients that include on-air, online, and on-the-go (mobile) components. The bottom line is that we are still in the business of selling access to audience, whether the audience is on the other side of a radio, computer screen, or mobile phone/PDA.” more reason to RSVP now!

A&O Country Roadmap 2010: 21.3% Of Country Listener Homes Have Only Cell Phones

A&O's annual "Country Roadmap 2010" tech and perceptual survey, tracking usage and content preference trends among listeners to Albright & O'Malley client stations, went into the field on January 26 and will continue through February 14. Already, more than 7,000 respondents from almost 100 radio stations all over the U.S. and Canada have completed the survey.

“Based on this partial sample, it appears that the format has positive momentum with 42% of our respondents saying they are listening more to their local country stations and only 7.9% thus far, saying they are listening less,” according to Michael O’Malley, who will report on the research at A&O's Pre-CRS client seminar in Nashville on Tuesday, February 23.

Last year more than 14,000 listeners in the US and Canada took part in our online poll with each participating station receiving breakouts from their listeners as well as listeners nationwide.

It appears that this year’s final sample will be even larger.

Albright & O'Malley Pre-CRS Client Seminar
Tuesday, February 23, 1-5pm
Nashville Downtown Library Auditorium, 615 Church Street, Downtown Nashville (a walkway to the library goes through the Bridge Bar and parking garage)
Open to non-clients in non-competitive situations by invitation only.
Sponsored by Lyric Street Records

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"Like The Amazing Kreskin And Seth Godin Morphed Into One Guy!"

Yes, I did say that and I mean it.

If you come to A&O's Pre-CRS Seminar on Tuesday, February 23, you'll want to be in your seat right from the start.

Mentalist/former radio programmer Eric Samuels has been a high-profile player in Canadian radio for more than twenty-five years, recognized as one of the country's top broadcasters. He helped fashion the sound and focus of contemporary Canadian radio through his position as Senior Vice President of Programming for one of Canada’s largest national broadcast chains.

His presentation on how we and our listeners acquire our perceptions and make decisions will be the talk of CRS. Don’t miss it. He will also be opening the ‘Hot Topic’ panel on Friday at the CRS as well, so while everyone at CRS is gasping in amazement, you can say you saw him first!

Albright & O'Malley Pre-CRS Client Seminar
Tuesday, February 23, 1-5pm
Nashville Downtown Library Auditorium, 615 Church Street, Downtown Nashville (a walkway to the library goes through the Bridge Bar and parking garage)
Sponsored by Lyric Street Records


1-1:20 - Tyler Dickerson Lyric Street Records artist
1:25 - 2:40 - Mentalist/former radio programmer Eric Samuels - Keynote on decision-making and perceptions
2:40-3;10 - Mike O'Malley - AO Country Roadmap national perceptual
3:15-3:55 - Daniel Anstandig - Interactive Media Action Plan
4:00-4:25 - Tripp Eldridge - Moments of Truth which grow or lose your listeners
4:30-5 pm - Jaye Albright/Phillip Beswick: Meet the Family 2010 Media Audit Country Qualitative

It's going to be well worth your time and attention! RSVP to Michael O'Malley or me, now.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Livin' Large, Livin' COLD To Help Haiti

Broadcaster lives in hut to raise money for Haiti

It is sacrifices like this (click to watch the video) being made by Larry Wilson (Livin Large Larry), Ops. Mgr./Air Talent for Gapwest/Billings which make you proud to be in the radio business.

Yeah, it's snowy and cold, and that's bad enough.. but he also missed the Super Bowl too! (or is that a generator next to his frosty hut?)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Everybody Likes (Carrie) Surprises

In case you missed it Thursday night in Nashville, click to watch a replay of this clever stunt produced by WKRN Channel 2 on a young CMA Music Festival fan.
She loves the event and convinced 13 friends and family to join her this year. Her only wish in an email she sent to CMA, was that Carrie Underwood perform.

Carrie (around her full Super Bowl schedule) called to share the news with Riley, first. Her reaction is precious. Producers at the studio had tears in their eyes. It has a really sweet emotional quality to it – and they put it together in 12 minutes after getting stuck in horrendous traffic yesterday afternoon going back to the news room. A great buzz builder by the always-engaging Brad Schmitt!

So, yes, I like surprises.. unless it's true that Howard Stern is really headed to next year's American Idol...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

It's Time To RSVP

The event is cosponsored with Lyric Street Records, debuting Tyler Dickerson Tuesday, February 23, 1-5pm Nashville Downtown Library Auditorium, 615 Church Street, Downtown Nashville (a walkway to the library goes through the Bridge Bar and parking garage)

1-1:20 - Tyler Dickerson Lyric Street Records artist
1:25 - 2:40 - Mentalist/former radio programmer Eric Samuels - Keynote on decision-making and perceptions
2:40-3;10 - Mike O'Malley - AO Country Roadmap national perceptual
3:15-3:55 - Daniel Anstandig - Interactive Media Action Plan
4:00-4:25 - Tripp Eldridge - Moments of Truth which grow or lose your listeners
4:30-5 pm - Jaye Albright/Phillip Beswick: Meet the Family 2010 Media Audit Country Qualitat

Country radio specialists Jaye Albright and Michael O’Malley (click on either name to RSVP) are presenting yet another reason to attend this year’s Country Radio Seminar and arrive a day early. The consultants have lined up a four-hour slate of presentations, speakers and special events for their clients who are attending CRS, and now they are opening their Tuesday, February 23 meeting to the public by invitation only at the downtown Nashville Library Auditorium.

Anyone who works for an A&O client station has received their invitations now, and if you don't compete with an Albright & O'Malley client, you're also invited (free). But, you do need an invitation.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

(click here to read the entire story) A former KVI-AM, Seattle promotions coordinator was charged Tuesday with first-degree theft for allegedly rigging a radio contest to pocket some of the winnings, and 14 others allegedly involved in the scam were charged with second-degree theft.

Yes, it's illegal. Of course, it's illegal. But, worse, do you want to see your name (and probably your face too) on TV, on competing radio stations, in the papers?

There's a word for this: S-T-U-P-I-D. Enough stupid to go around, from the top down.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Driving, Looking Only In The Rear View Mirror

There have been many great articles written in the last several years since Arbitron and BBM started rolling out the Portable People Meter in the U.S. and Canada designed to help programmers and personalities know what to do when their station is monitored by PPM.

This is not going to be one of them.

An extensive high tech cottage industry has emerged providing sophisticated tools for broadcasters to study the behaviors of radio listeners as they listen to radio. BBM has InfoSys, ARB has PDA web, RCS has Media Monitors, Audience Reaction and MScore, ROI has PPM expertise, Cornerstone Research has XTrends, Research Director has Instant Answer, to name just a few.

I must confess: I love and am addicted to them all.

However, having spent hours pouring over reports which tabulate and even can play actual air checks as you graph panelist usage, I also have to say that it all comes down to this:

Bill Drake was right; Rick Sklar was correct; Chuck Blore got it; Mike Joseph understood, to name just s few of radio's very best and most successful programmers.

More than that, they created stations that executed 24/7 like the legends they have become. I bet they’d all do just fine in PPM measurement.

A great programmer intuitively recognizes entertaining, compelling, interesting, engaging, don’t-miss-a-minute radio when she/he hears it.

The trick is not analyzing it, but teaching, training, motivating talent to do it so consistently that listeners notice and a station becomes famous for it, which drives regular usage – several times a day, more days per week than its competition.

If you doubt it, then you absolutely need to get the analytical tools and spend the many hours it will take you to compare what average listeners are doing while we do what we do.

After all, there are only four possible actions as you listen to the radio:

1) turn a station on,
2) turn a station off,
3) change from a station to another one or
4) change from a different station to yours.

All the technology which PPM has enabled, at this point, still makes you wait from eight days to as much as five weeks to compare what radio did to what listeners did.

Perhaps the reason for that lag time is because the suppliers and ratings companies are fearful that we can’t handle to watch it in real time as yet, but you know that day is coming.

There’s no need to wait for that event. I can tell you what you’ll find out:

• Radio listeners love interesting personalities who never bore them, relate to their lives, make them feel connected and never waste their time, who talk to one person about common concerns, not about themselves.
• They want to feel up to date.
• Almost half of them change stations or turn the radio off when irritating commercials which insult their intelligence come on.
• They listen longer and more often to radio stations which they can count on to play fewer commercials than more cluttered ones.
• They like their favorite songs. The change stations when ones they dislike come on.
• They hit their presets when it sounds like a station is taking a break of any kind from what they enjoy for something (anything) else.
• The more entertainment value they receive for time spent the more regularly they come back to a personality or station.

Luckily for all of us, we already have two very useful pieces of equipment which can help improve a station’s performance in PPM, diaries, phone surveys or whatever methods media buyers use to evaluate as they spend their dollars.


Use them.

Listen objectively to your station with the same critical thinking skills that radio’s most skillful programming executives have always employed.

You don’t need a device to measure whether your brand is so strong that lots of people have high expectations when they turn to your place on the dial and your implementation is so consistent that you never fail to exceed them.

You do need a person with judgment, communication, the ability to prioritize and motivational skills as well as the strength to fight for the needs of the listener.

Someone who is able to see what’s ahead, on both sides of you as well as what happened last week or last month.

Someone who doesn’t just call him/her self a Program Director, but is one.