Radio Evangelist

Thoughts of a Evangelist for Radio in all its forms

Archive for December, 2008

Harker Research posts update to Nielsen vs Arbitron Survey

Posted by Steve on December 23, 2008

Harker Research just posted an update to their article of December 5th on a survey that they conducted of media buyers, researching buyers’ reaction to Nielsen’s entry into measuring radio. In a very thoughtful exposition of their original conclusions, the researchers bring more clarity to their conclusions. They also posted a brief description of the methodology used in their research:

Nielsen versus Arbitron: Why It Matters to Radio: “How the study was conducted

Our clients provided the contact information for nearly 100 key radio media buyers. The media buyers were those who regularly buy radio, so the views expressed were from the perspective of the radio time buying community, and presumably would favor Arbitron. By telephone Harker Research interviewers contacted as many of these buyers as possible during the week of December 1st. We ultimately completed interviews with 62. This is a significant proportion of the universe of media buyers, so the results are a reliable representation of the views of all radio oriented media buyers.

We first confirmed that the participant bought radio time and then proceeded to ask the four questions. For each comparison question they could choose either Arbitron or Nielsen as a response, but we also accepted ‘don’t know’ or ‘both.’ That is why the two responses do not add to 100%.

(Via Radio InSights.)

One point made in their article was that there hadn’t been much made of cross-media measurement with PPM. Here’s the quote:

“While Arbitron has touted PPM as a means to measure any audio based medium, there has been very little said by the company about actually measuring any medium other than radio (except in special commissioned projects). This is one area where Nielsen is clearly ahead of Arbitron. If Nielsen follows through with its promises, small markets may have a new tool to compete against other media. Let’s hope that Arbitron responds by providing the same information (at no charge) in larger markets.”

Arbitron actually conducted some very in-depth research into the multi-media aspects of PPM, with live data being made available during both the Houston and Philadelphia test periods. In fact, the MRC accredited the data in Houston just over a year ago. Here’s a link to the RBR article about that: Arbitron gets MRC Blessing for PPM TV data

The competition between Arbitron and Nielsen will only make both services get better – and that bodes well for both sellers an buyers of tv and radio advertising.


Posted in Media Research, Radio | Leave a Comment »

Signs of the season – Christmas carols whilst cleaning out your desk…

Posted by Steve on December 22, 2008

This weekend, as I was preparing for the week, I ran across John Gorman’s site and this post on some of the signs of the season:

Radio: The Grim Reaper is the new Santa Claus: “I’ll tell it like it is. The Grim Reaper is the new Santa Claus.

It’s a bummed-out Christmas for our industry.

The bad news far outweighed the good.

A survivor of a recent massacre called to tell how surreal it was. One of their other stations had changed to its annual continuous Christmas format – and its music was being piped through the building as terminated employees were being escorted from the building.

There’s nothing like being ordered to leave the premises while Burl Ives sings ‘Have a holly jolly Christmas.’

Our industry used to be fun. On a good day it didn’t seem like work – and even the bad days were good.”

(Via John Gorman’s Media Blog.)

Pretty eerie stuff.

After getting your attention, John gets down to the meat of the matter – that radio needs to focus on doing better radio. This means many things, but above all it means keeping the passion in the presentation – whether delivered via 100,000 watt transmitters or streamed via WiMax or anything in between.

One of the most powerful tools that radio people have at their disposal theses days is the concept of “social networking.” This is no secret to anyone who has been following the radio cognoscenti recently; but how we go about it is still somewhat opaque to most.

The fact is, radio has been a “social network” all along. People have a shared experience listening to their favorite station; some contribute “user generated content” (calls to Limbaugh and Hannity), some attend concerts, remote broadcasts, listener parties, live recording sessions, and so on. This social networking around radio has been going on since well before I was born. It’s what attracted many of us to the business to begin with.

So – we need to expand our social networking experience to take advantage of new venues, whether they be Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or an iPhone application like Radiolicious. Use technology like Messagecasting (customized messaging to RDS displays on radios) to create even more powerful ties to your people (for example, crowdsource an event by messaging over Twitter and your Messagecasting channel). Tie it all together with a way for your advertisers to tap into this powerful network.

This is what radio folks have been doing forever. But, we have strayed from the path of providing genuineness to our listener. One thing we can’t do is be disingenuous with these new social networking tools. That is the kiss of death, since the response mechanisms for the listener are so available, so immediate.

There’s a challenging year ahead, but we can make this the year we re-confirm that radio does connect to lives in a powerful way.

Posted in Radio, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

So – Jerry D does think that it’s the consolidators that have the weak radio product…

Posted by Steve on December 18, 2008

In an earlier post, I disagreed with Jerry Del Colliano on the subject of great content being created in radio. Here’s something he wrote a few days ago that makes the point about independent operators:

A Radio Station That Signs Jocks To Contracts: “In Phoenix there is a station that actually does well — how’s number one 18-34 sound — with a sub-par tower location and it competes with all the usual suspects like CBS and Clear Channel.”


Nothing about great content on this station, but if you’re #1 18-34 with no signal, something’s being done right on the air!

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Jerry Del Colliano on “Radio To Die For”

Posted by Steve on December 18, 2008

Jerry’s posts – although usually very long – are usually right on the money. But, this one is way off the mark:

Radio To Die For: “Fact is — radio stopped making compelling content over twenty years ago. We’re noticing it more today because radio has become a vacuous entertainment medium that values business over show and thinks it can get away with stuffing cheap commercials into five-minute clusters.”


There’s a lot of compelling content on terrestrial radio; NPR and PRI programming certainly, but I also hear a lot of great programming from commercial stations as well. Typically these are the independent stations (here in the DC area, WRNR comes to mind; in the Boston area, WXRV is a safe bet) – it seems that the corporate-owned stations are the ones that Jerry is speaking of.

So I ask you – do you know of some corporate-owned radio stations providing compelling content? Add a comment and a link to the station’s site so we can check them out. Let’s show Jerry that there’s some great radio being done by the folks who are toiling under the yolk of the shareholders.

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Twitter Feed for Dallas’s 97.9 The Beat

Posted by Steve on December 18, 2008

Showing “Now Playing” metadata. Imagine what you could do with messages tied to the other audio on the station!


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