Sunday, July 12, 2009
LOOK INTO MY CRYSTAL BALL (FROM 8/08) ALL ABOUT COUNTRY
...I wrote this about a year ago for All About Country and the predictions have come true, Country performing well in PPM's, then we only had real numbers from Philadelphia and Houston with Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco pre-currencies. Now we have Atlanta, San Jose, San Bernardina-Riverside, Boston, Washington, Phoenix and Seattle. And social networking over radio websites is the main victory we have achieved. The floodgates are opening and the PPM world is here. We need to ask ourselves, do we want 100 real people representing, real listening or 1,000 people trying to remember what they listen to and writing it down. Alex, I’ll take 100 people for 100 real profiles of listening. We are starting to see how well Country is doing in Philadelphia and Houston and with the pre-currencies in Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Strong cume and real listening. The news/talk, urban and Hispanic bloom has fallen off the PPM receiver. This helps propel our format into the ranks with AC, CHR and rock. How do we keep it rolling and make sure the sonic sound of the station stays on people’s radios in our new world of audience measurement? – We need to keep the sound cohesive, popular, mainstream and focused on a sound design that is contemporary and keeps the interruptions and talk to a bare minimum. The talent will have to perform in a shorter world of talk mechanics. Mornings shows will have to encompass music and shorter, more relatable breaks. Long winded promos and sweepers will have to be shortened to help in creating the mosaic that will stay on the longest and be used by our listeners more frequently. Music design will be a balance of hit titles with impact, active songs that people want to hear with a focus on keeping burned songs to a minimum. Arbitron has seen a link between poor music programming and lessoned listenership in the PPM world. Prepare to battle head on with at-work AC’s for listenership. The perfect template for midday listening is US 99.5 Chicago. No bumps and grinds in the music and presentation. It is set for long-term away from home listening 6a- 7p. Most of the listening will be done away from home, at work and in the car. We will have to figure out fast what part of the new technologies the listeners want to take part in to enhance their listening experience. Constant mentions of “email me or check out my blog” will make no sense to people on the go listening. Radio listeners use the internet to check out news, social networks and correspond with friends. Most of these activities cannot be performed on the go or at work. They will have to wait until they are home. Maybe nights and weekends are the time to sell web components the right way. If we begin planning for the PPM future now, we will have a handle on what we’ve seen in Houston and Philadelphia. PPM articles and interviews should be required reading and look for trends and changes based on electronic measurement to help you when PPM comes to your market.