Arbitron diary tactics were fun, but didn’t mean much.
Remember the games played with time checks? “If we advance the time, we’ll get credit for another quarter hour.”
Or how about, “Write this down, you’re listening to WWKK.”
Then there was the great Armitron watch giveaway.
And let’s not forget the promos that started with “Dear Diary…”
Over the years, I’ve seen programmers try all sorts of tactics to illicit better results from Arbitron. However, none worked as well as having a consistently good product that touched a wide range of the listeners’ emotions on a regular basis.
Now we’re hearing of a whole new batch of “Arbitricks” for the Meter.
Shut the talent up or better yet, don’t have any “person” on at all.
Make sure all potential tune-outs are taken off the air.
This is how Vanilla Radio is born, or sustained if you look at what’s been happening to Radio programming the past couple of years.
People! It’s not about getting them to listen longer!! It’s about getting them to listen more often!!! And that means entertaining them.
The Meter is giving us a better, more immediate read on how successful we are at getting in touch with our listeners and their emotions. That doesn’t mean you have to program differently to do well in our new world.
Unfortunately, some stations are penalized due to the small panels enlisted to carry the meters. If you’re not generating a big cume it’s much easier to fall victim to what used to be called “diary placement.”
One more reason why “Cume Is King!”
Talented people in programming and on the air that know how to touch their listener will bring you success in the Meter world, just as it did in the Diary world. The difference is you’re more likely to get credit for that “magic moment” now than you were in the diary – provided your listeners are on the panel.
There is one additional benefit of investing in your programming in the Meter world that was not present in the Diary world; it’s your best defense to all the cume thieves now on the market delivering audio to our listeners.
Listeners can get your music from any number of sources better suited to their tastes than a radio station format tuned to a mass audience. But they can’t get your personalities. That’s our edge. If we continue to give it away though, we might as well cut our losses and sign off now.