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From the Holidays to Every Day, Keep Listeners Tuned In

2 minute read | December 2013

Over the next few days, many people will get into the spirit by tuning into “All Christmas” stations. While the holidays are a boon for radio, programmers shouldn’t forget their every-day strategies for keeping listeners coming back for more. One solution we discussed from many different angles this year was how important the number of days of listening is to ratings in Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) measured markets.

One place to start generating more listening is on a daily basis through the art of enticing audience to tune back in later in the day. Another name for this is recycling. While convincing listeners to tune in again may not be easy, the ratings they bring could make it worth the effort. Those who tune to only one daypart account for just 11 percent of a station’s total week ratings; however, those who tune to three or more dayparts make up nearly 60 percent. Therefore, being a good audience recycler is crucial for PPM ratings success.

However, getting listeners to tune back in multiple days over the week is also important for ratings. The switch from diary measurements to PPM changed the way daily audience is calculated. This flips the “occasions” model (the number of times listeners tune in) around and instead focuses on how many days a listener tunes in, as opposed to the number of times they do so each day. When you consider that almost three-quarters of the panelists in the top 10 markets are, during an average month, using some form of radio on at least half of their days, there are a lot of opportunities to capitalize on this audience.

Figuring out how to take advantage of this methodological subtlety of PPM means understanding which days during the week hold the most potential for attracting listeners. After a deep-dive into the numbers, we found that Thursday and Friday are the biggest days for radio listening. However, these peaks vary based on demographics and formats unique to each market. Knowing which days in each market and format have the most listening can help programmers decide where to place noteworthy content and how to maximize their listening. And that can be a key to help building both short- and long-term habits with listeners that will lead to ratings success.

So as listeners finish up last-minute holiday shopping and get ready to close out the year in style, programmers should think about tactics and strategies to use in the New Year to get their audience tuning in as many days as possible.  

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