Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are you PPM'ed up?

No need to write down
Country 107.1
Thanks to CSI and LA LAW, we now have the term: Lawyer'ed up. Paul Wilson and I were talking the other day and we both used the term PPM'ed up. He is a big LA LAW fan and available for programming and dance parties at a cluster near you. That made me think - Which causes the gears to grind, are you PPM'ed up? Exactly what does that mean?

It's the actions you take to prepare a radio station in the electronic measurement world. Real instead of reported listening. In the 90's Austin research guru Rob Balon first talked about making impressions with the audience to encourage them to retain perception of your station. When they sat down on Weds to fill out the entire week of listening, 9 times out 10 it was based on perception and reported listening. In the electronic world, all based on real listening.

So what are the changes? SVP/Programming for Clear Channel Jon Zellner told ALL ACCESS in his current interview Jon Zellner

There is always more to learn, but we have unmatched tools at our disposal and the smartest minds in radio working for Clear Channel, who analyze data every day to come up with specific plans for each radio station, depending on its situation and competitive landscape. I feel confident that any Clear Channel PD or air talent in a PPM market would tell you that they have the best information and resources at their disposal to guide them in making the best decisions for their market.

Everyone is on the short band wagon which scares me, because short means generic to many programmer's where short can mean creative, but concise. Bill Drake taught Boss Jocks to create in :08 over an intro and they did it. Bobby Ocean, Rich "Brother" Robbin, Shotgun Tom, Charlie Van Dyke, Dale Dorman, Robert W. Morgan and more all were cognizant of short is better. This is not a new science to radio. Make the shortness creative. 

in a recent article PPM and music radio RADIO INTELLIGENCE says:

In the PPM world, more than ever before, a great morning show will drive the entire day. To become and to stay a top ranking radio station cannot be done without a powerful morning show. It remains the station’s calling card, especially in countries where people drive to work. Even when your station needs to win the “at work” position, the morning show is the engine for the entire day. A weak morning show will be sanctioned directly by listeners – who will be very difficult to win back – and will affect the performances of your whole schedule.

To avoid losing listeners, programmers should allow specific times for specific features. For example, on successful adult radio stations, service elements are still the main drivers of the morning show and listeners expect to hear them at specific times. While on successful hit-based radio stations, morning shows are still focusing on funny phone calls, celebrity gossip, and fun and entertaining elements. With PPM, setting appointment times for specific features is vital as it gives a compelling motive for listeners to tune-in on a daily basis.
This final thought from the above article really drives home the point:
Successful radio stations are making sure that non-music content does not overpower the music output. What is important is to concentrate on the lifestyle of the local target. A stylish overall consistent sound makes all the difference.

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