Courtesy of Coleman Insights: Coleman Insights Finds That Cume Levels Differentiate High Performance Radio Stations
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, September 25, 2009 – A new Coleman Insights study finds that Weekly Cume Rating is the measure that most often differentiates American radio stations that are highly successful in Arbitron’s Portable People Meter™ (PPM™) radio ratings service. The study, “The PPM DNA of America’s High Performance Radio Stations,” was released today, following its debut presentation at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia yesterday. It is the latest in Coleman Insights’ “Mapping the DNA of PPM” series of studies, which has provided the radio industry with new insights gleaned from detailed analysis of PPM data.
The study looked at key PPM data points from Arbitron’s PD Advantage Web® service for 874 stations from April, May and June 2000 in the first 20 markets with the PPM service. Of those, 73 “high performance stations” were analyzed to determine which audience characteristics set them apart from all stations that achieved at least a 1.0 AQH Share among Persons 6 and older. High-performing stations are defined as those that achieved notably high average quarter-hour (AQH) Share levels among listeners in the Persons 6+ demographic. Coleman Insights’ analysis found that these 73 stations reached an average Weekly Cume Rating that was 63% higher than the comparison group of stations. They also generated higher Weekly Time Spent Listening (TSL) levels, but their average TSL was a modest 7% higher.
“Radio stations that perform well in the PPM service obviously benefit from higher-than-average Cume and TSL levels,” comments Coleman Insights Vice President John Boyne, who delivered the NAB Radio Show presentation along with Arbitron’s Vice President of Programming Services and Development, Gary Marince. “However, what our study reveals is that it is Cume far more than TSL that truly separates the high performers from the rest of the pack.”
“Stations in PPM markets have much more information than ever before and this study provides a valuable tool for understanding what is working and what drives higher ratings in the overall marketplace,” said Marince. “As new markets commercialize with the PPM service, these insights will help stations learn from their peers and competitors in existing PPM markets about what makes a high performing station.”
Other key findings of the study include:
- Stations designated as high performance generated higher Weekly TSL levels, but their average TSL was a modest 7% higher than that comparison group of stations.
- High performing stations tended to generate more occasions of listening from their pool of listeners than other stations—19.9 weekly occasions on average compared to 17.7 occasions for all stations. The length of their average listening occasions was not significantly longer.
- High performing stations had a higher proportion of “P1” listeners than other stations (P1 is defined as the station that earns the most time from a listener). While less than half of an average station’s AQH came from P1 listeners, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of an average high performing station’s AQH came from P1 listeners. The results show that P1 listening is as critical to a station’s success in the PPM service as it was when it was measured by the Diary.
- The average station generated roughly two and a half times more TSL from its P1s than it did from all listeners. Among high performance stations, this gap was from about seven and a half hours to three hours each week. P1 listeners contributed this TSL through increased listening occasions rather than longer periods of listening.
- Some of these trends differed when examining specific formats. In some cases, TSL played a much greater role in a station’s high-performance profile than most formats.
Coleman Insights offered the following recommendations to stations based on its findings:
- Radio stations need to recognize the importance of awareness, positioning and branding, because weekly Cume is a far stronger differentiator of high performance stations than any other characteristic. A station can significantly improve its ability to achieve a high Cume with a strategic marketing and advertising plan.
- Stations are best served by trying to get listeners to listen to a station on more occasions rather than attempting to get them to listen for longer periods of time.
- Radio programmers should understand that P1 listeners remain vitally important in a PPM-measured world, much as they were in a Diary-measured world.
- Programmers should not overreact if their station does not conform to the listenership measure norms reported in the study. Market conditions may dictate differences in success strategies for specific radio stations.
A full report containing detailed findings from the study is available for free downloading from Coleman Insights’ website, www.ColemanInsights.com. In addition, the company plans to make the presentation available for viewing via a free webinar in the coming weeks.
About Coleman Insights
Coleman Insights, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, with offices in Philadelphia and Hamburg, Germany, is a firm that has helped media properties build strong brands and develop great content since 1978. Its clients include hundreds of media properties in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, including those owned by CBS Corporation, Sony Corporation, Emmis Communications, The Walt Disney Company, Lincoln Financial Media, EMI, Radio One, Warner Music Group, Bonneville International Corporation, Vivendi SA, Citadel Communications, Grupo Radio Centro, Sandusky Radio, Lagardère International, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inner City Broadcasting, Grupo Prisa, Mid-West Family Broadcast Group, Salem Communications, The Mondadori Group, Connoisseur Media, Corporación Radial del Perú, South Central Communications, SBS Broadcasting, Maverick Media, Entertainment Network (India) Limited and Hubbard Broadcasting. Additional information about Coleman Insights is available at www.ColemanInsights.com.
Portable People Meter™ and PPM™ are marks of Arbitron, Inc.
SOURCE: Coleman Insights