Here is a thought provoking article from Jon Coleman the CEO of Coleman Insights Research.
It has been more than three years since the last PPM-measured markets were launched in the US and Canada. As an industry we have learned a lot about ratings, most of which has been good for radio. However, reflecting on what we have learned, I wonder if we are focusing so much on reducing tune out that we have ignored or paid insufficient attention to what makes a person a loyal fan. And, I wonder if part of the declining loyalty to radio stations as evidenced by a decline in listening to the medium as a whole is a function of reacting incorrectly to the data we generate from PPM.
PPM is great at measuring audience. I think everyone will agree that it has shown us that there is a big difference between what people think they are listening to and what they are actually are listening to. PPM has also helped radio cleanse itself of a lot of self-serving programming “junk” that stations used to run because pre-PPM there was no evidence that it was hurting the ratings.
However, I think that PPM may have caused radio programmers to become slaves to the “in the moment” and lose track of what really builds ratings. I know from all the research that Coleman Insights does is that what really builds ratings is not eliminating every possible tune out, but rather offering emotion-evoking reasons people can love the station. When people like or love a station they tune into it every day or even several times a day. When we reduce tune outs all we do is “maybe” save a quarter-hour. We don’t build loyalty. People don’t come back to a station tomorrow because of a reduced tune out today.
Here is the comment I posted on Jon’s site “Jon… glad to hear someone else stating what we feel is rather obvious. For too long some programmers have been “duming down” the product to the extent that so many stations sound the same. Most stations have the ability to play the right songs (not always in the right order, but that is another story), so it is what happens between the records that sets one station apart from another. Notr enough effort goes into this area in our opinion. Also too many stations fail to think “local” and seize the moment which is what creates water cooler talk, and what grows ratings. I will put a link to your article on our website if you don’t mind.”
Read the rest of Jon’s article here
Check out this video of Hollywood Producer Michael Bay of Transformers fame at CES in Las Vegas. He was on stage to introduce the new Samsung Curved 105-inch UHD TV and talk about how this technology will benefit the user experience. But it appears that Michael did not rehearse his lines. He blamed the teleprompter, but the executive from Samsung had his lines so perhaps he suffered from stage fright.
This is a great video example of how not to give a presentation. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, the most important step is preparation. As an announcer you need to take the time to do show prep, and always focus on making your next break the best it can be. While I feel sorry for Michael I suspect this video will be one of the most shown from CES 2014 and will live on to be used as an example by many on the training circuit.
A big announcement at CES in Las Vegas on 6 January 2014, that could impact radio: Google has teamed up with Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai to form the Open Automotive to bring Android to the dashboard in 2014.
Google will work with car manufacturers to “enable new forms of integration with Android devices”, and on “adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable,” says Patrick Brady, director of Android engineering. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring your favorite apps and music with you, and use them safely with your car’s built-in controls and in-dash display?” Brady said.
Apple announced they were getting into the in-car app business over 6 months ago. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as Apple is known for their “closed system” while Android boast an open platform. In theory, it should be easier for car manufacturers and other third party providers to interface with the Android applications.
As all this rolls out it has the potential to have a huge impact on radio listening. Radio stations that are on these platforms should benefit, but those that are not may see a real decline in tuning. As much as 40% of radio listening happens in the car and that figure is higher in urban markets where the commute times are longer.
The real potential here is to attract the under 50 demos back to radio via the connected dash, because they are so used to consuming media on their smart phones, getting this tech savvy generation to use the tools on the more sophisticated in car dashes should be a no brainer.
2014 could shape up to be very interesting as both Android and Apple race to get these products in cars rolling off the assembly lines. If your radio station does not have a presence on IOS and Android that is easy to use and provides more full interactive presence, then this is something you need to look at.
It will not be long before the average in-car commuter has the option of AM, FM or Internet radio right on the dash. In Canada, radio does not have to compete with Pandora or Spotify at this point, but as these company’s get stronger south of the border it cannot be too long before we see this type of competition up here.
The other big announcement from the Vegas technology show was from GM. The company announced at CES that beginning this summer, its Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt will offer OnStar 4G LTE as extra-cost options, with the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark, and Spark EV following sometime after. Each car will essentially function as a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot, letting passengers and families connect several smartphones, tablets, and laptops to the Internet at once. No word on the pricing of this or the cost of the data.