Radio Evangelist

Thoughts of a Evangelist for Radio in all its forms

Archive for September, 2008

Measuring the impact of TV Advertising on a station’s listening

Posted by Steve on September 28, 2008

Edison Research and Arbitron released a terrific report last week at the NAB Radio Show in Austin. Data in this report tracked listening behavior over a 12 week period and correlates it to exposure of panelists to TV ads from the two radio stations cited in the report, WBEB and WJJZ in Philadelphia.

This is an application of PPM data that has been long awaited by many of us. And the results show that this type of research can result in very actionable information for radio marketers.

Of particular interest to me was slide #30, which shows the behavior of one panelist, a 45-54 year old male. This panelist listened to just 2 quarter hours of WBEB each week during the first three weeks of the study period. During this period, he saw no WBEB TV spots. Then, in the 4th week of the survey, he saw one spot and his listening bumped a little bit, up to 4 quarter hours for the week. In weeks 2-8, listening to WBEB dropped back to less than 2 quarter hours a wee, even though he was exposed to 2 TV spots each week. Then – in weeks 8 & 9 – he was exposed to 3 TV spots each week and his listening to WBEB started to skyrocket, so that by week 12, he was listening to upwards of 20 quarter hours (5 hours!) of WBEB each week. This is just one panelist, and there may be little or no “real” correlation between his increased exposure to WBEB TV ads and his increased listening to WBEB. Look at this kind of information for hundreds of panelists, and you will begin to discern a pattern of response to advertising. This will produce some truly actionable data.

_Users_Steve_Documents_Edison-Arbitron PPM TV Ad results study slide 30.jpg

Here’s the complete presentation:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Arbitron vs. the Rest of the World

Posted by Steve on September 25, 2008

OK – I have kept my mouth shut about this for as long as possible. But I really have to comment on this today, after listening to testimony by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office about our very real financial crisis:

From Taylor on Radio at

“The New York City Council votes – unanimously – to ask the FCC to investigate Arbitron’s People Meter

The Council’s listening to constituents in the black and Hispanic radio communities who fear the PPM will disadvantage them and their audiences, compared to the current diary system. Arbitron has already discontinued the diary research in New York and other key markets, ahead of an October 8 debut of “live” ratings based on electronic measurements. But the Council, led by Christine Quinn, hopes the FCC can do something. The Spanish Radio Association quickly applauds the Council vote over a technology it calls “flawed”, and says the PPM “should not be rolled out until all concerns are effectively addressed.”

The PPM is measuring the listening of the panel extremely accurately. And, quite frankly, the results have not really surprised any of us who have been in this business for a while.

Given that, plus with the limited bandwidth that the government and regulators in both NY and DC have today due to the fiscal crisis, it seems like this action is a case of “fiddling while Rome burns.” The City Council in New York should be concerned about the short term liquidity of their constituents… and how to assist them should the worst happen in our financial system. The effects of that will be far more severe than anything that PPM will offer.

The new measurement will upset the apple cart for many minority broadcasters who will be impacted by the possible results. There is no doubt, since Arbitron took hundreds of millions of dollars from these broadcasters while the diary was the methodology, that Arbitron should assist these broadcasters in finding their way in the new PPM world. But – engaging the government in this during this time of dire crisis is not the best thing for the NY City Council’s constituents. Nor is it the best thing for America.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »