Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reduced peer group pressure in real vs. reported listening

In the PPM world, the metered listener is free to listen to whatever they want, whenever they want. This reduces the reported listening and peer group pressure to fit in, as in diary occasions of listening. Sam Zniber has some great points in his recent blog: 

"With a technology that informs you almost instantly and minute by minute about listeners’ choices, some argue that PPM offers a recipe for blandness as programmers are now – more than ever – afraid of making any decision that could have an adverse effect on audiences (and on their jobs). Others, on the contrary state that, instead, it allows programmers to make some bold decisions as they get to see the instant effects of these decisions, and therefore can make adjustments if it is not heading in the right direction. What’s certain is that you can’t drop the ball any more, or if you do, you’d better pick it up quickly or face the consequences. In the US, what has been witnessed in the radio field is an increasing volatility when it comes to staff and on-air talent. A show does not perform well? Here comes the axe, sometimes also hitting its presenter. A programmer fails to address the steady decline in audiences – the door is open. Within those extremes, most radio executives have taken the bull by the horns and adapted to the new regime. "
The goal in the PPM world should be no different than in the diary world: To build more coalitions of listeners through fun and community. Build up the spirit of the radio station to offer more than a jukebox and cut and dry air talent. That's the easy way to try to adopt to the PPM world and mask staff cuts and limited air talent. The dependence on reported listening is history - No more guessing what they listen too, or writing down what another family member listened too. 

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