Monday, October 6, 2008
The Radio Week That Was 10/6
1. PPM and Cuomo: This saga continues as minority broadcasting groups try to kill PPM so their ratings won't suffer. But, to try and make it illegal in some way is completely stupid. The only valid issue here is sample, and yes Arbitron will need to work more on sample and cell phone only households to deliver more reliable results, but it's not an easy task. PPM is far more accurate in collecting the data and the only finding you are going to see in a court ruling will have to revolve around the in-accurate diary system which they are trying to keep? Anyone can see the motive here - politicians trying to build a career from a case/publicity, like Elliot Spitzer did!!! Mr. Cuomo 'don't waste you time and our industry.' Grab a power switch somewhere else.
2. Arbitron looks at 50 diary markets to implement more cell phone household coverage in samples. Great news, but we need to do this in all markets PPM and Diary. The land line telephone is over as a communication device. It would be great if they would at least let us know which 50 markets they want to start with.
3. ABC looks at a Youth Movement: The network releases last week that they are focusing on 18-49s as they look for new products. Our whole industry is so far behind on this issue and we all need to reach out to younger audiences. Now is the time - as we come out of this economy you can bet that the working youth will be the catalyst not the depleted resources of the boomers.
4. Economy: The 'bailout' passes but we are still in a big economic mess. The public gets this one even though they don't understand the 'naked short selling' or the 'derivatives' they do understand that a bunch of highly paid Wall Street types made off with huge bonus' and paychecks on their backs. A lesson for us - 'the audience is smarter than we sometimes think.'
5. Economy and Formats: We've all seen down turns in the economy trigger gains for Country, but Rock radio can also grow as times get tougher. While the country themes of overcoming adversity, living in tough times, and a generally positive outlook are often cited as reasons Rock also has some themes in the music that sync up with the times. The rebellion side, tough times angle and reality of the music often cuts through. Look at the early 90s downturn and the rise of grunge. Look at all the new bands like Linkin Park, Stained, Disturbed and others that grew in the post 911 downturn. The late 70s was also a tough time that brought a rise in rock's popularity. With Metallica heading up both sales and download charts, ACDC on the way, Guns/Roses out shortly, Nickleback out soon and lots of left over music from earlier releases in 08 it will be a banner year.
6. Your Stars: How well prepared are your personalities for their show? What are THEY really bringing to the listening experience? I bet if you took an air check and just cut out the positioning, call letters, simple music IDs, and things like weather/traffic you'd have very little 'personality' to show. Air staff members become personalities by what they bring to the party not just by hanging out at the station. We are a third of the way into the Fall ratings period - how entertaining are we?