Thursday, April 12, 2012

You Don't Have To Have The Highest Ratings

The top ten revenue radio stations nationally, released by BIA/Kelsey yesterday clearly demonstrate that, while being top-ranked in ratings or being in a metropolis is nice to have, it's not essential to being a top biller.

Let's take two recently-released numbers that actually have no "real" relationship to one another and try to coorelate them to see what we can learn with some quick back-of-my-napkin-at-lunch calculations:

WTOP ranks #1 nationally in total revenues from market #8 DC with a 7.5 audience share and is in the top tier of three stations virtually tied in share of audience between a 7.0 and 7.5: $8.5 million per share.

KIIS ranks #2 in revenues from market #2 LA, but is only ranked #3 6+ with a 4.4. Still, KIIS is in that first tier of four Southland stations which have between a 4.2 to a 4.9. Almost $13 million for every share of total audience in the latest monthly.

KFI is #3 nationally in revenue rank, in spite of being #1 in share of total audience with a 4.9 in the latest monthly PPM data. $9.8 million for each of those 4.9 audience shares.

Also in LA, KROQ ranks 7th in national revenues with a 2.7 share of audience 6+ according to the latest month, amidst a group of seven other stations with between that 2.7 and 3.1 in the third tier of PPM-rated stations (the second tier is four with between a 3.6 and a 3.8), with a 2.7. K-Rock, for example, ranks behind Go Country, but out bills the Los Angeles country station, thanks to a big morning show, which is a magnet for young males, managing to bill an incredible $15.6 million per rating share.

WBBM FM & AM ranks behind Chicago's #1 radio station 6+, WGN (5.4) and is tied for #2-#3 with a 4.7, followed by two stations at 4.5. $10.2 million per share.

In New York, the nation's most populous market the top rated 6+ radio station with a 7.3 share is WLTW, but they are actually being out billed by WCBS-AM which has a 2.8 share and also WINS-AM with its 3.5 share. 3.0-share WFAN is only $1.5 million behind. The 6th highest revenues in the USA belong to WHTZ, which notched a 5.2 6+ share last month. Per their latest ARB 6+ share: WLTW = $5,753,424. WCBS = $16,964,285. WINS = $12,000,000. WFAN = $13,500,000. WHTZ = $8.8 million.

Rank by $$ for each 6+ rating share in the latest monthly
  1. WCBS = $16,964,285
  2. KROQ = $15.6 million
  3. WFAN = $13,500,000
  4. KIIS = $13 million
  5. WINS = $12,000,000
  6. WBBM FM & AM = $10.2 million
  7. KFI = $9.8 million
  8. WTOP = $8.5 million
  9. WHTZ = $8.8 million
  10. WLTW = $5,753,424
Obviously, there are more factors involved in great revenues than just share of listening audience.
  • Sell and position aggressively, command the best rates
  • More commercial units per hour (news, talk and sports can carry about 30% more spots)
  • BIG morning show which targets the most-desired demo
  • Men matter; if you can hold onto them, you get the gold
  • Making maximum use of all possible digital assets
  • Be in a high revenue major market
  • Have a very high cume (CHR and AC)
  • Don't target over 55; the younger the better.
Do you have a different read on these stats?

Do you have a plan to grab more than your share of your market's dollars in the next year?

1 comment:

George King said...

Excellent observation Jaye. Yes, there are many variables. But, as programmers we must work just as hard to help increase revenues as we do in growing ratings. No matter if you’re under or over achieving in ratings, you have to be open to and come up with ideas and suggestions to turn whatever ratings you have into maximized revenue. I’ve always found it beneficial to communicate with your sales managers and sales staff almost as much as you do with your on air staff. It’s surprising what you can come up with as far as possible revenue generating ideas when brainstorming with sales. An open line of communication also allows sales to understand where programming is coming from and can help them in formulating packages, proposals and presentations that can be beneficial for both the clients and listeners, while making more money for your station.