From where I sit On The Kowch, radio sales managers probably won’t be sharing with advertisers the findings of the latest CRN International study on the impact long commercial breaks have on listeners. That’s because the listening habits of 525 radio listeners polled blows up the myth that people don’t tune out when the music stops for commercials. They might not change the station, but mentally they stop paying attention to what is on the radio until the music resumes.
When it comes to radio advertising, clients in the United States will be spending $16 Billion in 2014 to reach their share of the 244 million Americans that listen to radio every week.
“Almost seven out of 10 respondents said they don’t make it past the second in a series of spots during the commercial break; 64 percent said they don’t make it past the first,” says the study. “The law of diminishing returns applies, according to the survey, as spots get further and further down the order within the commercial set. Even for avid radio listeners—those respondents who said they listen several hours a day—31 percent said they listen to the first commercial but no more.”
From where I sit On The Kowch, I find it amazing how PPM technology today allows TV and radio stations to zoom in on how ratings were impacted on a certain day because of a major event. Take the December, 2013 ice storm and blackout in the Greater Toronto Area.
Bell Media’s new Cross Media Research Team looked at the PPM ratings between December 20 and 22nd to figure out how GTA residents consumed media on those two days. With new Personal People Meters (little electronic receivers people wear that records what radio or TV stations they have tuned to) researchers were able to pinpoint where residents turned for news on the ice storm and subsequent loss of electricity for 300,000 homes.
I swear, from where I sit On The Kowch, the longer I’m in this game the more complicated life gets for working journalists. Take the latest ethical debate at the Canadian Association of Journalist (CAJ) about Informed Consent – do reporters have the obligation to warn someone about the consequences of talking to them before the interview begins?
The CAJ created a panel of some of the best and brightest people in Canadian journalism to get the answer. Among the people on the panel are Meredith Levine, a Western University journalism professor and three leading minds from the front lines of journalism practice – Toronto Star Public Editor Kathy English, CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin and Julian Sher, Senior Producer for CBC’s the Fifth Estate. I wasn’t invited to be part of the panel – but they did send me the study in the hopes I would discuss it in my blog. So I will respond to the five questions the panelists were asked to start the discussion. Wonder if I’ll be on the same page as the panel members?
From where I sit on On The Kowch, FM stations who played Christmas music 24/7 and the five sports stations that carried the men and women’s final Olympic hockey games, struck PPM gold. The All Christmas Music format and Olympic hockey provided a boost in PPM ratings in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal during the Winter PPM Ratings.