Tag Archives: Arbitron

Podcasting for Higher Ratings

Stan Main

Stan Main of The Randy Lane Company

Arbitron‘s PPM has created many questions for personality-oriented shows who podcast, or want to know if they should podcast.  The answer is yes, but it must be done carefully in order to receive proper electronic measurement credit.  Stan Main of The Randy Lane Company has done the research and clearly outlines how to podcast in PPM (and diary) markets to receive proper, or even additional, listening credit.

Important – note the different criteria to receive PPM credit for “Best Of” programming.  It’s additional work to repurpose content for podcasts and Best Of separately; but, don’t you think the extra Cume & TSL is worth it?

For detailed explanations of these tips, be sure to visit The Randy Lane Company blog here.  Some highlights:

  • Don’t podcast entire shows or entire hours.  Re-package your best content into short podcasts of about 5 minutes in length.
  • Podcasts won’t take you from worst to first.  Podcasting currently makes up less than 1% of all measured listening.
  • Your podcast should come from your encoded air signal, not your encoded internet stream.  Don’t edit your podcast.  It must be the (5-10 minute) segment as broadcast.  Do not edit.
  • Best Of segments must come from a source before the PPM encoder.  Best Of segments can, and should be, edited.
  • Podcasts must be listening to by a PPM panelist within 24-hours of broadcast to receive credit.  So, promote the content actively on social media, email lists, on air, etc.  Make sure it’s worthy of a listener’s time to download.  If they don’t like the first podcast or two they download, they will decide it’s not worth the effort in the future.
  • In diary markets, if a listener just writes down the name of your station or show, you get listening credit.  If they write “.com” or “podcast,” you don’t get credit.

These critical tips were provided by The Randy Lane Company

.  I highly recommend visiting their blog for an explanation to each of those tips, and other suggestions not listed here.  The better you understand Arbitron’s methodology, the better chance you have of beating your competition.  Every detail counts!  Good luck.

Project Leap Frog


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If that sounds like a children’s pre-school activity, you’re not too far off. It’s actually the name of tests Arbitron(c) is conducting to improve reliability of data in non-electronically measured (PPM) markets.

Brad Feldhaus, VP/Diary, and Bill Rose, SVP/Marketing, detailed the project in a company webinar earlier today. The goals of Project Leapfrog include: larger samples to reduce bounce within smaller demographic cells, improved representation of the market’s full population, collection via web and mobile devices more relevant to younger consumers, and moving towards 100% address-based sample which should reach more cell phone only households.

Other highlights:

  • Test phases include packaging materials in an official-looking box or envelope, whether it’s better to pay incentives only at the end of a completed one week survey, and if automated phone calls increased participation, provision of paper diaries upon request only to participants who do not want to respond online or by mobile device
  • Some testing conducted last June and this past April; plans to begin large-scale field tests starting in late May of this year in most medium non-PPM markets – although no station specific data will be evaluated yet
  • June 2010 testing saw higher than average returns from 18-34 year old sample
  • Top 50 markets will continue PPM only technology; Leap Frog will help better serve the remaining 250 non-electronically measured markets
  • Leap Frog is still “experimental” and will not be implemented until fully reviewed at the completion of ongoing tests
  • No date for real implementation suggested; however, this will most likely be part of field research/testing during the Spring & Summer Dayton survey period

So, the wobbles continue in diary markets and the struggle to reach CPO households continues to grow; albeit hopefully with an end (or at least improvements) in sight.

What do you think of these “efforts” to improve Arbitron’s diary market services?  Leave your comments below.

PPM Panelists Will Shock You!


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Radio Programmers have targeted “diary types” for years, carefully executing marketing strategies and contesting to reach an audience most likely to report listening to their station in Arbitron’s “diary methodology.”  But, what about today’s “PPM type?”  What kind of listeners are part of Arbitron’s Portable People Meter ratings panel today?

Mark Ramsey speaks with Allen Kepler of Broadcast Architecture, the company responsible for a new “unauthorized” look behind the curtain of your new ratings methodology.  You’ve got to watch Mark’s video interview posted to his blog today.

Why do they do it?  Do they follow the rules?  Do they even know it’s about radio, or do they think it’s about all media?  What do they think of the meters themselves and are they embarrassed to be seen wearing one?  Is it true that multiple households kept their meters moving by attaching them to ceiling fans?  And what should you do to target the kind of folks who are likely to be panelists?

Click here to go to Mark Ramsey’s article.

Follow Up: Christmas Format Success 2010

Christmas in the post-War United States

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A couple months ago, I posted my advocacy for “The Christmas Format” on stations with appropriate format and competitive situations (including a few suggestions and points of consideration).  Arbitron(c) ratings nationally reflect the reason why … and numbers don’t lie: Continue reading

Edison Media – Podcasting 2010

Tom Webster, VP of Strategy & Marketing for Edison Research, recently presented the renowned company’s fifth annual study of American podcasting consumers at the Blogworld New Media Expo.  The presentation contained previously unreleased data from The American Youth Study 2010 conducted by Edison Research & Arbitron as well as the Edison/ADM Consumer Attitudes to Podcast Advertising Study 2010.
| Watch Presentation (63m) | Download Slides |

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Podcast consumers are highly engaged with social media
  • A majority listen to podcasts in their vehicles (through iPod or other MP3 connectivity)
  • Mobile Phone Media consumption is rising quickly, although most podcast consumers still prefer to get content on their desktop computers than dedicated media players
  • About 70-million Americans 12+ have listened to a podcast in the past year, that’s up slightly from last year to 45% of the population

The most important takeaway point Webster makes is the podcast audience is no longer just an “early adopter,” but now more closely resembles mainstream media consumers.

Dave & Geri in Grand Rapids are a great example of a highly successful morning show which has made the transition from traditional radio to on demand content.  Their daily “FunCast” now averages more than 40-thousand downloads per week and continues to grow.  Paul Poteet & Tom Davis in Indianapolis are another example with their “Off The Cuff” podcast in Indianapolis.

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, every where you tune …

Less than two months ago, I blogged that Christmas (music) would be on the radio before you know it.  Thanksgiving is still a week away; but, already dozens of stations have made the switch to Holiday formats including head-to-head battles in markets from St. Louis to Ft. Wayne.  The reasons are definitely compelling:  Persons 25-54 AQH Ratings were 91% higher in 32 PPM markets last Holiday survey, including some heritage brands like B101/Philadelphia and KSFI/Salt Lake City pulling more than 1/3rd of all listeners in that demo.  All the numbers can be found in the August 2010 PPM Client Briefing published by Arbitron©.  Of course, there are risks involved with strategies to flip too soon versus the chance someone else beats you to the punch.  The key is to be ready to go at a moment’s notice as soon as you feel it’s the right timing (unless you’re fortunate to own the Christmas position in your market from doing it successfully over the years) … Stations in Cincinnati, Lafayette, Albany, Syracuse, Kansas City, and Grand Rapids all made the switch on November 1 this year!

Tom Taylor’s newsletter, TRI – Taylor on Radio Info, has been publishing tips for competing against Holiday Formats – sign up for his newsletter here.  Some of the highlights: Continue reading

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