In case you haven’t heard, the recent CRTC Hearing in Toronto was one of the most competitive ever, with a record number of applicants vying for the last available frequency in Canada’s largest market. The 88.1 frequency became available when the Ryerson license was pulled by the commission. The popularity of this hearing stems from the fact that the market currently boasts approximately $250 million annually in radio ad revenue, with local broadcasters posting significant profit margins. I was pleased to participate in the process which ran from May 7-16 at the Allstream Centre, and while I wouldn’t presume to speculate on who will prevail, I can provide a bit of insight as to what took place.
Read more here.
The CRTC has issued its latest status report on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).
Telemarketers are slowly beginning to pay closer attention to the DNCL, but the number of complaints is still staggering since it came into effect in September of 2008. Over half a million complaints have been lodged and the number of people registered with the DNCL is over 10,000,000 or approaching a third of Canada’s total population.
To see the full report, click here.
The CRTC finally handed down their decision today (24 May) following a public hearing commencing on 6th February 2012 in Calgary. There were 11 applications in total looking for a FM license. Corus wanted to add an FM stick for its CKQR AM operation, but that was denied because it would undermine the Common Ownership Policy by adversely affecting competitive balance and diversity in this market according to the CRTC.
The winners were Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. (MBC) who are a new entrant to the Calgary radio market, and in the Commissions’ view are well-financed and experienced broadcaster whose experience would contribute to its ability to establish itself in that radio market. They will have a limited signal in the market. Here are the details:
Type: Ethnic commercial FM radio programming undertaking
Technical parameters: 106.7 MHz (channel 294B), average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,100 watts (maximum ERP of 8,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 236 metres)
Format: Ethnic programming directed to a minimum of 23 cultural groups in a minimum of 19 different languages
Target audience: South Asian community (primary); Filipino, Arabic and Vietnamese communities (secondary)
Canadian content (music): 10% of all category 3** musical selections aired during ethnic programming periods over the broadcast week***
Local programming per broadcast week: 120 hours
Spoken word programming per broadcast week: 50 hours, 24 minutes
News**** programming per broadcast week: 7 hours, 45 minutes (70% local)
Canadian content development contribution (over the basic annual contribution): $553,000 over seven consecutive broadcast years
The Champaign corks will be popping in Vancouver today as the other big winner is Pattison who got a 100,000 stick at 95.5. they will run a AAA format similar to The Peak in Vancouver. The Commission commented that they are a new entrant to the Calgary radio market, are well financed and would benefit from regional synergies with its other Alberta-based operations. Consequently, this applicant should be well placed to operate as a standalone operator in this very competitive radio market. Pattison shocked most broadcasters by promising to contribute $12.25 million (including $8.75 cash) in CCD over 7 years. The financials showed a net loss after taxes of just over $6 million in the first term of license. Here are the details:
Type: English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking
Technical parameters: 95.3 MHz (channel 237C1), average effective radiated power (ERP) of 36,000 watts (maximum ERP of 100,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 180.3 metres)
Format: Adult Album Alternative (AAA) music, with a primary focus on new and emerging artists, and a secondary focus on alternative music from the last decade
Target audience: women from 25-49 years of age (primary target, women from 25-34 years of age; secondary target, women from 34-44 years of age)
Canadian content (music): 40% category 2* over the broadcast week*** and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Local programming per broadcast week: 126 hours
Spoken word programming per broadcast week: 21 hours, 18 minutes
News**** programming per broadcast week: 3 hours, 7 minutes (percentage of local regional news programming not specified)
Canadian content development contribution (over the basic annual contribution): $8,750,000 over seven consecutive broadcast years
Emerging artists programming per broadcast week: 15%
The full desison can be viewed here
The CRTC announced on 22 May 2012 a revised policy for Campus and Community Radio stations. This includes limiting the number of hits a station can play to 10%. The new policy also limits the number of commericals these stations can play to 72 minutes per day.
Read more about the decision here
Greg Diamond – ByrnesMedia
Last month we heard from Larry Campbell of Campbell Media Research, based in Seattle, Washington. Larry gave us a rundown on his background, how he justifies research expenses to clients, and the pros and cons, do’s and don’ts of Focus Groups and Perceptual Surveys.
Thank you to everyone for their positive feedback from part 1.
Here, then, is the final part of our chat with Larry.
5. “Auditorium Music Tests are the most accurate way of finding which songs work and which ones don’t on any given station. How are these studies conducted and why are they so effective?”
It is better to say “Auditorium Music Tests (AMTs) may or may not be the most accurate way of finding which songs work and which ones don’t on any given station.” It all depends on how the music tests are screened and recruited. Many research companies recruit respondents using the client station’s weekly cume and its primary competitor’s weekly cume as the primary screening criteria along with screening for gender. We do not, because we know it is not good screening.
Some of you know about the Pareto principle which maintains that “…for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In radio we know that approximately 30% to 35% of any well programmed station’s weekly cume is made up of P1 listeners (listeners who listen to that station the most, as opposed to 2nd most, 3rd most, etc.). P1 listeners generally generate approximately 70% of its hours tuned and average quarter hour share. If 100 weekly cume listeners of a specific station are recruited for its music test, approximately 70% of them are P1s to the station’s competitor, which will distort the true musical tastes of your station’s P1s.
We call our “Auditorium Music Tests” Comprehensive Music Tests. They are comprehensive because they combine the testing of 800 songs in one two-part test session, plus administering a questionnaire to obtain answers to important questions of concern from a large group of the station’s highly pre-screened P1 listeners in a Strategic Target Listener Study.
Comprehensive Music Tests take place after the completion of a Strategic Market Study, Format Search Project or a Strategic Market Tracking Study. This allows for the station’s core target audience to be accurately ascertained through the results of the study. With the passage of time, the station’s core target can change based on many factors. Consequently, before every music test we investigate the composition of the station’s core target audience – the Pareto principal listeners if you will – and define or redefine the station’s core target audience by age, gender, station preference, time spent listening and some other variables that are proprietary to our recruiting methodology.
We conduct random calling from a central data collection center in Toronto into the market where we are recruiting respondents for our music tests. We do not use local market research firms to recruit our music tests because they recruit from lists of research respondents that they maintain for all types of research projects, year after year.
We have every respondent complete a validation questionnaire before the music test begins on a scheduled day or evening, to make sure that every single respondent meets the screening criteria we established for the test. There is no “garbage in – garbage out” with our tests.”
We deliver the results of the Comprehensive Music Test and the Strategic Target Listener Study in the Analyst®, the most sophisticated music sorting software program available to radio programmers and consultants.
Only with proper recruiting will an Auditorium Music Test be “…the most accurate way of finding which songs work and which ones don’t on any given station.”
6. Explain your list of steps to marketing a radio station.
Step 1 Format – The first step is making sure you are presently marketing the best available format. You need to determine if there is a format available that would lead to substantially increased ratings, revenue, and cash flow. You cannot know unless you take a look. Also in this step, the Strategic Market Study will tell if you are maximizing the ratings potential of the format you are presently marketing.
Step 2 Target – Once you totally understand your format situation, you determine and define your core target listeners from the knowledge provided by the results of the Strategic Market Study. You define your P1 target listener group by age (broad and narrow), gender, music preference, time spent listening and other important targeting criteria we will teach you about. From the format comes the station’s target.
Step 3 Programming – Once you have determined your format niche and the core target listener group that will lead to success through their heavy listening, you have to determine what programming elements and features, and station qualities are the most important to your target listeners. Additionally you need to find out how your target listeners “grade” your station’s performance in the areas of critical importance. We have developed norms to evaluate the perceptions of your listeners’ regarding your station’s programming from “A” it’s excellent” to “F you’re failing.” Your station’s listeners give the grades – not us.
Wherever you have grades lower than an “A” you need to go to work on improving that programming element or station quality to get it to an “A.” This is especially true in terms of your grade for playing the best songs for the tastes of your target listeners. If you’re not getting “A’s” or high “B’s” you’re not winning, but you can with improved grades!
Step 4 Positioning – Before you advertise to increase cume you have to understand how to best position your station in the minds of target listeners. Positioning is how you effect the perceptions of your core target listeners, not what you do to your programming. Federal Express claims a niche with its target consumers who have to make shipments around the world with urgency and reliability when it took the position, “When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight.” We have learned a lot about what makes a truly effective position over the years, and frankly it is one of the most difficult and complex steps in marketing a radio station. Effective positioning can be accomplished, however, and it has to be done for a station to achieve extraordinary success.
Step 5 Advertising – A radio station has to advertise both strategically and tactically to sell its key benefits and uniqueness, build top of mind awareness and increase cume. It is not uncommon to find a new client station with huge “top of mind shortfall.” This means its aided weekly cume far exceeds its unaided weekly cume.
Like positioning, it is very difficult to effectively tell target listeners about a radio station’s key benefits in a 30-second television commercial. It is virtually impossible on a billboard or bus card. This is where a series of focus groups with target listeners can be invaluable to a client in getting rid of totally ineffective advertising concepts, and find an advertising concept that will really work for the station. We offer a study called the Promotional Effectiveness Test for this very purpose.
Step 6 Strategic Sales Management – I cannot tell you how many stations we’ve worked with that saw a golden opportunity to substantially increase their market share in our studies, did a great job of implementing their strategic marketing plans, achieved improved rank and shares in their target demographics, but kept on selling their station’s inventory like they did in the past, leaving truckloads of lost revenue on the table.
Managers will say, “Wow Larry, we’re sold out for the next two months! This hasn’t happened in the last 6 years!”
I’ll say, “Hmmm…you know it sounds like the demand for your station’s inventory exceeds the supply. I think this means you’re under pricing your inventory.”
They’ll say, “Well it’s too soon after the book to raise our rates, we’ll upset our advertisers. We’re running an extra spot or two in every break to accommodate our old advertisers and all of our new ones.”
I’ll say, “Hmmm…you know, you may not have these improved ratings much longer if you continue this sales policy.”
7. Is there such a thing as the best time to conduct research?
Yes. The best two times to conduct research are:
When you realize you just don’t have the answers you need to improve your station’s competitive situation and ratings and could use some help.
When you’re in a very strong competitive situation with great ratings and you would like to strengthen the station’s dominance and develop a plan to defend its success in the short and long run
8. You do a lot of work with a Toronto-based company when it comes to perceptual studies and recruiting for music tests. Tell us about that company and why you use them as often as you do.
We have used them for all of our market research studies over the past 12 years. They were first referred to me in 2000 by a colleague in another industry who had worked with them. In my experience, they are the best market research and data collection firm I have ever worked with, and that includes hundreds of firms in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. They are better than the others because they are uniquely precise, efficient and intuitive. They staff their interviewer and recruiter positions with articulate and intelligent employees.
We have an excellent relationship with their management team and we communicate easily and effectively. We 110% trust them to do the very best job possible in collecting market research data for us.
9. What have been the most noticeable format trends that you’ve uncovered over the last couple of years?
The first and most obvious is the increase in the popularity and success of Top 40 CHR formatted radio stations. The quality of artists in this broad genre, and the songs being produced by these artists are exceptional.
A concerning trend is the polarity of a significant amount of the new rock music being released, with 35+ rock listeners being turned off by many of the active rock and alternative rock artists and tracks. In fact, we see many of the new active rock and alternative rock tracks not doing well with core rock listeners age 18-34.
News and information stations are experiencing good times due to the economic problems locally, regionally, nationally and worldwide. Plus the turmoil in the world based on political, ethnic, racial, religious, gender and other assorted differences and disputes creates an environment where people want to know what’s going on.
10. Anything else you would like to add?
If any of your readers would like to discuss any of the issues I have touched on in our interview, or talk through other concerns, please have them send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 1 206 399-7740.
My thanks go out to Larry for taking the time to offer his keen insights into one of the critical aspects of our industry.
As mentioned, feel free to contact him directly for more information on how he can help your station, or contact me at email@example.com and I can also assess your situation and offer a plan of action for continued or future success.
“National Asian Heritage Month”: See the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society www.explorasian.org.
“National Asthma Awareness Month”: See the Asthma Society of Canada www.asthma.ca
“National Car Care Month”: see the Automotive Industries Association of Canada www.aiacanada.com.
“National Celiac Awareness Month”: See www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
“International Civility Awareness Month”: One month to focus on civility and to discard “civility-challenged” behaviours. Call Heather Tamminga, Exec. Director, Association of Image Consultants International 515-282-5500. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“MS Awareness Month”: Multiple Sclerosis is unpredictable, affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. See www.mssociety.ca.
“Revise Your Work Schedule Month”: To increase awareness, exploration and implementation of non-traditional work schedules such as flextime, telecommuting, job sharing and compressed work weeks. Call 619-980-7854, email email@example.com.
“Vision Health Month”: To inform the public that preventative eye care is important because eye conditions, diseases and injuries that can rob a person’s vision can strike at any time in life. Call CNIB 1-800-563-2642. See www.cnib.ca
“Young Achievers/Leaders of Tomorrow Month”: International Leadership Network’s Young Achievers/Leaders of Tomorrow Program recognizes and encourages positive achievement, behaviour, leadership and service. Call Tom Eichhorst 314-961-5978, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.ilnleadnet.com.
May 1 “May Day”: Observed as a holiday since ancient times with Spring Festivals, Maypoles and celebrations. But the political importance of May Day has also grown since the 1880’s when it became workers day in the U.S. Observed as Labour Day in many countries. Bermuda, Canada and the US are the only countries that observe Labour Day in September.
May 3 “Two Different Coloured Shoes Day”: A day to recognize and celebrate the uniqueness and diversity of humanity. The simple and lighthearted act of purposely wearing two different coloured shoes demonstrates the courage to take a risk and step outside of one’s daily routine. Call Arlene Kaiser 408-946-4444. Email email@example.com. See www.ntdcsd.com.
May 4 “No Pants Day”: A growing international event held annually on the first Friday in May, based on the simple idea of relishing the joy inherent in not wearing pants. Usually people wear thick, colourful boxers, but bloomers, slips, briefs and panties all work as well. Call Roy Janik at 512-638-7265. email firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.nopantsday.com.
May 4-21 “Canadian Tulip Festival”: The world’s largest festival with more than 3 million tulips in bloom in Ottawa. The event grew out of a thank-you gift of bulbs from the Dutch Royal Family. Call 613-567-5757 or 1-800-66-TULIP. Email email@example.com. Web: www.tulipfestival.ca.
May 5 “Cartoonists Day”: To honour all those who use their imagination and a few pens to bring their ideas to life and give us a laugh via the daily paper, magazines, TV and the movies. Call Polly Keener 330-836-4448 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 5 “Free Comic Book Day”: Each year, independent comic book stores around the world give out free comic books to children. Call Diamond Comic Distributors 410-560-7100. See www.comicshoplocator.com.
May 6 “No Diet Day”: A day to stop dieting and stop hazardous weight-loss attempts. Find out the 10 reasons not to diet by emailing Francie Berg at email@example.com (please put “Berg-No Diet Day” in subject line). Web www.healthyweight.net.
May 6-12 “Kids Win Week”: A week when adults commit to providing opportunities for children to experience themselves as capable and to recognize themselves as achievers. Call 508-898-2222. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.kidswin.org.
May 7-13 “Children’s Book Week”: An annual event sponsored by the Children’s Book Council to encourage the enjoyment of reading for young people. Call 1-800-999-2160, email email@example.com. See www.bookweekonline.com.
May 7-13 “Work at Home Moms Week”: The challenge of motherhood and working at home can be a balancing act. All women who do it every day are applauded this week and always. Call Robin Gorman Newman 516-773-0911, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.motherhoodlater.com.
May 8 “World Red Cross Day”: A day for commemorating the birth of Jean-Henri Dunant, the Swiss founder of the International Red Cross Movement in 1863, and for recognizing the humanitarian work of the Red Cross around the world. For info on activities in your area, contact your local Red Cross chapter. See www.redcross.ca.
May 12 “Canada Health Day”: See www.cha.ca.
May 12 “Limerick Day”: Observed on the birthday of a Limerick champion called Edward Lear. He published a book of Limericks in the 18th century call Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense. Lots of limericks at http://home.earthlink.net/~kristenaa/.
May 12 “National Babysitter’s Day”: To give babysitters appreciation and special recognition for their quality child care. Call Barbara Baldwin 210-695-9838, email email@example.com. See www.safetywhys.com.
May 12 “Stay Up All Night Night”: A night when people are encouraged to stay awake through the night, reliving the excitement of staying up late as a child. There is something incredibly satisfying in staying up to see the sun rise – and everyone should do it at least once a year. Annually, the 2nd Saturday in May. For info, email George Mahood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 13 “Mother’s Day”: The second Sunday in May. The first celebrations in honour of mothers were held in the spring in ancient Greece. They paid tribute to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. In 1907 Anna Jarvis in Philadelphia, PA asked her church to hold a service in memory of all mothers on the anniversary of her mother’s death. She later began a letter-writing campaign to create a Mother’s Day observance.
May 13-19 “Salute to 35+ Moms Week”: Motherhood is challenging at any age, and if you become a mom when you’re 35 or older, it can be quite an adjustmenet. For info, email Robin Gorman Newman at email@example.com. See www.motherhoodlater.com.
May 18 “International Museum Day”: To pay tribute to museums of the world. Observed annually on May 18 since 1977. For info call Canadian Museums Association 1-888-822-2907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 18 “National Bike to Work Day”: Encourages the use of bikes so we become healthy, and help the environment as well. Communities, corporations, clubs, and individuals are invited to sponsor bicycling activities during the month of May in order to increase awareness and acceptance of bicycling throughout the country. Call Patrick McCormick 202-822-1333. Email email@example.com. Web www.bikeleague.org.
May 18 “International Virtual Assistants Day”: This day acknowledges the dedication, experience, expertise and determination of virtual professionals. Call the Alliance For Virtual Business 410-521-7001. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 21 “I Need a Patch for That Day” They have patches for nicotine and they have patches for heart patients. How about a Patch for “bad hair day” or “runny noses. Phone 717-279-0184 or email: email@example.com
May 21 “Victoria Day”: Commemorates the birth of Queen Victoria on May 24th 1819. It is a national holiday in Canada. Observed on the first Monday preceding May 25th.
May 22 “Immigrants’ Day”: A day to celebrate and recognize the contributions made by immigrants to Canada and to discuss the Canadian immigration policy and experience. Call Sergio R. Karas 416-506-1800, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.karas.ca.
May 24 “Brothers Day”: Celebration of brotherhood for biological brothers, fraternity brothers, brothers bonded by union affiliation or lifetime experiences. For info: Daniel Rhodes. Phone 205-908-6781, email email@example.com.
May 25 “National Missing Children’s Day”: To promote awareness of the problem of missing children. Toll Free Hot Line Number 1-800-387-7962. See www.childfind.ca.
May 28 “Memorial Day (US)”: Legal public holiday in the United States, in honour of those who have died in battle.
May 30 – Jun 4 “Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival”: Windsor to Digby, NS. Annual festival with barbecues, sports events, art show, Princess Tea, coronation ceremonies, dances, concerts, fireworks, draft fair, children’s parade and more. Call Frances Anderson 902-678-8322, email firstname.lastname@example.org, see www.appleblossom.com.
May 31 “World No-Tobacco Day”: see www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2011/announcement/en for the World Health Organization (WHO).