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Solving Your Ratings Problem, It Can Be Done

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

How do we define bad ratings today? Bad ratings can be the gap between where you are today and where you want to be. Hopefully every station wants to be successful. Bad ratings really can create an opportunity for improvement, if it is desired. Inside of most stations problems or issues of many kinds and sizes create great opportunities for future success. Many times management or employees don’t even see issues or problems until something happens. When you do have a ratings or station in house issues, it should be corrected as soon as possible. Whatever the problem might be, it is costing you in many ways and especially in the ratings game, and ratings equal money. Every station mission should be to improve. Featured Post: Harry Lyles, Lyles Media Group

Mark Kassof & Co.: The Six Kinds of Radio Consumers

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

We in radio tend to look at radio listeners by demographics and formats…18-24 women, 35-44 men, Country P1’s, CHR P1’s, etc.

Totally valid. But I wanted to take a broader look at radio listeners…analyzing consumers based on their attitudes toward radio! – what they want from it, what they get from it, how they feel about it, and even how they see themselves.

So earlier this year, we conducted an online survey of 1,009 18-64’s in the U.S. We looked at all of those issues and more – including how much time they spend listening to radio and other sources of audio entertainment and information – including pureplay streaming like Pandora, as well as YouTube, MP3’s, CDs, etc.

This analysis is a “deeper dive” into the data, based on a statistical technique called Cluster Analysis – a tool that divides consumers into groups that share similar “mindsets”…in this case, with respect to radio.

And we learned that there are six different kinds of radio consumers – each with unique attitudes and preferences:


Here’s the scoop on each group…

Radio Junkies: The biggest group, they love radio more than the others.

More than any other group, they agree with the statement: “If you couldn’t listen to radio, you’d feel something important was missing from your life.” Their self-reported time spent listening to FM is higher than any other segment, and their listening to AM is above average. More than any other group, they agree that they “pay a lot of attention” when they listen.

Looking beyond programming elements to their “radio psychology,” we find they score higher than average on all 16 benefits of listening to radio we tested and highest on 12 of them! But like most listeners, their biggest motivations relate to mood – get in a better one, get an energy boost, or relax and unwind.

While they listen for music more than anything else, they’re the group most into personalities, and they want more talk than most do. More than any other group, they like personalities that “seem like personal friends.” They’re most interested in contests too.

P1’s of every format are represented among the “Radio Junkies,” as in most of the groups. But the “Junkies” include a higher-than-average percentage of CHR and Urban P1’s.

Music Enthusiasts: Music is really it for this group. More than most, they agree with the statement: “You listen to radio to hear music and nothing else.” Their interest in every other programming element – news, weather, personalities, contests, and so on – is lower than average.

And, more than any other segment, they agree with the statements: “You keep switching stations until you find a song you like,” and “When announcers start talking, that’s when you switch stations.”

The “Enthusiasts’” interest in music drives their song seeking…more than any other segment, they think they “know more about music than most people.”

Escapism is the biggest benefit they seek by their music-focused listening. More than any other group, they listen to take their minds off problems and to relax. But – at the other extreme – they’re also #1 for listening to “work better and faster” and above average for listening to get “excited.”

Since music is what they listen for, it makes sense that their time listening to FM would be eroded by other sources of music. They do listen to radio less than average, but just a bit less, and 74% agree that radio is a very important part of their lives.

Still, they listen to iPods/MP3’s about as much as FM radio. Pandora and other pureplay internet radio ranks third.

CHR and Rock P1’s have higher-than-average representation in this group.

Music Onlys: They’re so named because they agree with: “You listen to radio to hear music and nothing else” even more than the Music Enthusiasts” (or any of the other segments) do.

They’re the more passive, less-engaged “cousins” of the Enthusiasts. Most disagree that radio is a very important part of their lives.

Their personal and emotional connections to radio are much lower. They don’t think of themselves as more knowledgeable about music. As far as the benefits of listening, relaxing and mood enhancement are #1 for them, but lower than average. Other motivations we tested – like companionship, energy, excitement, laughter, etc. – aren’t very or even somewhat important to them.

Not surprisingly, their time spent listening to FM is lower than average, and they don’t listen to AM radio at all. But they also spend less time than average with Pandora, YouTube, iPods, Sirius/XM, etc.

Rock and A/C P1’s have higher-than-average representation in this group.

Average Joes: They match the 18-64’s in many respects….i.e., they’re average (for the most part).

Like most listeners, mood enhancement is what they get most from radio. They’re also into “fun” motivations – listening for laughs, for excitement, and adding to the fun with others. But they’re not exceptional in these respects…they’re average!

They do want a bit more music than average, and a bit less news. They’re less into “thinking” motivations (ones you’ll hear about in the next group) than 18-64’s as a whole. But they don’t listen for music only, or switch away when personalities start talking. They don’t score non-music programming elements low…they’re average!

The “Average Joes” are humble. They don’t think they know more about music than other people, and their self-image about news knowledge is below average as well. And they don’t claim to be first to try a new station when it comes on the air.

Finally, their time spent listening to FM is average. But their listening to other music sources is lower than average, except for YouTube…which is (you guessed it!) average.

Rock and A/C P1’s have higher-than-average representation in this group as well.

Info-Maniacs: They’re way different from all the other kinds of radio listeners. They’re less into “feel good” motivations for listening to radio. They don’t listen to take their minds off problems…they want realities.

Their top motivations for listening: “To hear things that get you thinking,” “To get practical information to that makes your life better” and “To learn things that make you more informed than other people.”

It’s working for them. More than any other segment, they agree with the statement: “You know more about what’s going on in the news than most people.”

They want more news than any other group. The programming element they’re most interested in isn’t music…it’s national news. Local news about ties it, but that’s unlike all the other groups (that are more concerned with local than national). They’re also the #1 group for talk shows, sports news, and play-by-play sports coverage.

Not surprisingly, they spend more time than any other group listening to AM radio, while their FM listening is about average. As far as internet radio, YouTube, iPods, satellite radio…all are below average.

No surprise, News/Talk and Sports P1’s have much higher-than-average representation in this group.

Disconnecteds: They hardly listen, spending more time with their iPods than with any kind of radio. They’re more interested in music than anything else, but not very interested in that either. Radio is definitely not a big part of their lives, and their emotional connections to it are minimal.

The good news is: They’re only 4% of all 18-64’s! Forget ‘em.

So, aside from interesting reading (I hope), what does this all mean for terrestrial radio going forward?

Looking at the groups, I think the “Radio Junkies” and “Info-Maniacs” are the most locked in to terrestrial radio…the “Junkies” because they love everything about it, not just music; the “Maniacs” because what they seek from radio is best delivered by local radio.

The most “at risk” groups are the ones most concerned about music. This is more true of the “Music Onlys” – 16% of 18-64’s – because they don’t have strong emotional connections to radio.

The “Music Enthusiasts” are a challenge, but give radio the opportunity to fight back.  They see themselves as knowledgeable about music, and radio can serve that psychology by being a strong source of music information and discovery. As long as radio taps into that self-image, as well as serving their needs for mood-enhancement, companionship, excitement and energy, it can remain a major player in their lives.

Bottom Line: Radio (as we’ve known it) faces serious challenges (and challengers). We see the potential for erosion, particularly in the two most music-focused groups that represent a third of 18-64′s. But as long as it focuses on what it can do better than its challengers – not just becoming a “me too” music source – it’s certainly not going away!

Conrad Miller Declares “I’m Living” With New Single

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Gospel Artist Conrad Miller has been gaining popularity with the success of his most recent project, Keep Pressing.  Two singles, the up-tempo “I Need You” and the spirited “Lift Your Voices”, have been inspiring Gospel music lovers young and old.  Now the recording artist and songwriter is releasing his third single from his sophomore project called “I’m Living”.  The new single has been serviced to Gospel radio.

Penned by Philadelphia-based songwriter Jacki Cordery, the track reminds the listener that we’re “living to live again”.  Produced by GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award Winner Steven Ford, the song is a mid-tempo inspirational head-bobber about sowing here on earth to reap greater rewards in Heaven.  With a catchy hook, the song is a favorite when Miller performs the cut live.

According to Miller, “when Steven Ford and I first heard an early demo track of the song, I got goose bumps! That’s when we knew it belonged on this project. That was the Holy Spirit at work.  Now, through this song, we get to remind everyone what we’re living for!”

Recently, Miller has been seen on the Trinity Broadcast Network, on the Herman & Sharron Show on the Christian Television Network and on TCT.  The Pressing Towards Your Vision Nominee for Traditional Male Artist, Conrad has also recently been featured in Christian Voice Magazine and Promoting Purpose Magazine.  Later this year, he will be stepping back into the studio to begin work on his third release. For more information on Conrad Miller, log on to www.ConradMillerMusic.com. Connect with Conrad on Facebook and Twitter (@ConradMillcon).

The CMO’s Guide to Programmatic Buying

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

To move brand dollars, programmatic technologies have to grow up and advance to other forms of media, like TV and radio. But programmatic buying isn’t as complicated as the jargon makes it sound. Here’s an interesting breakdown in Adage.com.

Power R&B 5.16.14

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Usher- Good Kisser

John Legend- All Of Me

Jhene Aiko- The Worst

Fantasia- Without You

Pharrell Williams- Happy

Power Hip Hop 5.16.14

Friday, May 16th, 2014

K. Camp- Cut Her Off

Future- Move That Doh

Usher- Good Kisser

Migos- Fight Night

Young Money- Trophies

Listener Comments Of Urbanradio.com

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Music comments and opinions are all a part of Urbanradio.com from listeners all over the world. You will even find such music stars as Cheryl Lynn, Arika Kane, Bobby Caldwell and Aloe Blacc.

How U.S. Consumers Interact With Music

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Nielsen has a fascinating infographic called Music Mapped Out that carves the U.S. into regions, and analyzes how their populations listen to, and pay for, music.

Power R&B Songs 5.9.14

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Trey Songz- Na Na

John Legend- All Of Me

Chris Brown- Loyal

Sevyn Streeter- It Won’t Stop

Pharrell Williams- Happy

Power Hip Hop Songs 5.9.14

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Chris Brown- Loyal

Kid Ink- Show Me

Future- Move That Dope

Rich Homie Quan- Walk Thru

Ty Dolla $ign- Paranoid

Bob Marley “Legend” 30th Anniversary Edition

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Originally released on May 8, 1984, Bob Marley’s Legend illustrates the remarkable life and recording career of one of reggae music’s most important figures. This iconic collection not only serves as the perfect introduction to the music of Bob Marley, it has become an essential part in every Marley collection. It remains the world’s best-selling reggae album and continues to be one of the best-selling catalog albums, exceeding 15 million RIAA®-certified copies in the U.S. alone and over 27 million worldwide.
On July 1, 2014, Universal Music Enterprises celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Legend with the release of the CD/Blu-ray Pure Audio Disc™ combo set Legend 30th Anniversary Edition (Island Records/Tuff Gong/UMe). Coupled with the original release of Legend, this deluxe version features this iconic collection entirely mixed in 5.1 by the GRAMMY® Award winning producer Bob Clearmountain on Blu-Ray Pure Audio Disc™ and now includes the original, early studio version of “No Woman No Cry,” in lieu of the previous live version. Also featured are two, previously unheard alternate takes of “Easy Skanking” and “Punky Reggae Party” recently discovered in the Marley vault. Classic Marley anthems include “Three Little Birds,” “Get Up Stand Up,” “One Love/People Get Ready,” “No Woman No Cry” and “I Shot The Sheriff,” which was later a No. 1 hit for Eric Clapton, as well as “Jamming,” “Exodus,” “Redemption Song” and “Is This Love.”
Both the CD and Blu-Ray Pure Audio Disc™ are housed in a 28-page, casebound book featuring extended liner notes, unseen photos and forewards written by Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and liner notes by author of the book Marley, Christopher Farley. Legend 30th Anniversary Edition will also be made available on tri-color vinyl (yellow, green and red) and pressed as a double gatefold LP allowing for a higher fidelity sound quality that is closer to the original source.
More than 30 years after its release, Legend continues to top the Billboard charts hitting No. 1 on the Top Reggae Albums in 2002, No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog charts in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014, No. 26 on The Billboard 200 in 2009, Top 10 on the Top Digital Albums chart in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and Top 20 on The Billboard 200 in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Legend holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s Catalog Albums chart, 1110 weeks (and counting). It’s been on the Billboard 200 or Catalog chart since 1988.
Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley’s lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 60 million fans, ranking it among the Top 25 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley’s music catalog has sold millions albums worldwide and his accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001). Legend 30th Anniversary Edition now expands on an album that has become a rite of passage and an essential for every generation.
Blu-Ray Pure Audio Disc™ TRACK LISTING:
2. NO WOMAN NO CRY (studio version)
8. EASY SKANKING  (alternate version/additional track)
16. PUNKY REGGAE PARTY   (alternate version/additional track)
# # #
Sujata Murthy/Meg McLean Corso
Universal Music Enterprises
(310) 865-7812/9804
sujata.murthy@umusic.com / megan.mclean@umusic.com

Power Hip Hop

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Rich Homie Quan- Walk Thru

Kid Ink- Show Me

Chris Brown- Loyal

Future- Move That Doh

Jhene Aiko- The Worst

Power R&B

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

John Legend- All Of Me

Jhene Aiko- The Worst

Sevyn Streeter- It Won’t Stop

Pharrell Williams- Happy

Drake- Hold On, We’re Going Home

Program Directors Retire!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

If we really believe what we say about being platform agnostic, then it’s time to retire the title of program director.  To start with, for many outside the radio business, the title connotes someone pointing at on-air talent or something like that.  But, more importantly, in the face of increasing online presence, multiple streams, smartphone apps, etc., the title would have that person focused on only the narrowest of assets relevant to a station.

Years ago, a colleague of ours got a few managers to flip the PD title to “Listener Advocate,” since the person the PD should spend the most time thinking about is, in fact, the listener.  While that title made sense then, it’s less relevant today.  The relevant title today is cribbed from the online world: Director of User Experience.

A manager focused on that title would be concerned about not only what comes out of the speakers on the terrestrial and other streams, but also on look and feel of the station’s web presence, the station’s look and feel – and responsiveness – in the social space, its mobile apps, the way a user (listener) is treated when he or she contacts the station through any channel – phone, web, mobile, USPS.  The Director of User Experience would care about all interactions a user (often, listener) has with a “station.”

The Director of User Experience would, for example:

  • Listen, of course, to the station’s terrestrial signal to evaluate the experience a user would have.
  • Listen to the station’s HD channels to evaluate the experience a user would have.
  • Regularly listen to the station’s terrestrial signal and HD channels out to the edges of the station’s metro or service area.
  • Listen to the station’s online stream(s) to evaluate the experience a user would have.
  • Regularly call in to the station on any number that a listener might use to see if the number is being answered courteously and in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Send a complaint letter from a friend’s address to the station once a quarter to see if anyone responds.
  • Use another name to post comments on the station’s social media accounts to see if the opportunity for connection is used well.
  • Search the station’s website for information that listeners might want, to see if it’s easy to get the info.
  • Install any station apps on the smartphone of a friend or spouse – to see if it’s easy and pleasant.
  • Listen carefully to all station on-air talent to see if they’re entertaining, interesting or informative for someone who’s just now tuned in to the station for the very first time.
  • Listen carefully to the between-the-songs production that the station plays to see if it’s entertaining, interesting or informative for someone who’s just now tuned in to the station for the very first time.
  • Monitor media, websites, social media portals, etc. regularly used by consumers the station is targeting to make sure the station is reflecting the culture that listeners regularly experience.
  • Think about the metamessage that comes through the station’s presence on-air, online, social media, etc.  Is it the intended overall message or feeling?  Is it consistent with the station’s goals and strategy?
  • Understand thoroughly all the metrics available, from Nielsen Audio to Facebook to the website and beyond; all represent connections with consumers and help to evaluate the user experience.
  • Compare the experiences of using the station through its various portals with the experiences of using the station’s primary competitors – including those without transmitters.

Most operators long ago retired the title Disc Jockey.  We think it’s time Program Director was retired as well.  Long live the PD!

The Infinite Dial 2014: A Look at Urban P1s

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Infinite Dial 2014: A Look at Urban P1s

Entry by Edison Research | Friday, April 25th, 2014 | Permalink

“Infinite Dial” Format: Urban P1s Heavier Users of Digital In Most Ways

P1 listeners to Urban and Urban AC radio are more digitally inclined than the average radio listener in almost every significant way, according to “The Infinite Dial 2014: A Look at Urban P1s.”  The new report is the first individual music format breakout from Edison Research’s influential “Infinite Dial” study, released earlier this year.

Urban/Urban AC P1s are more likely than the average 12-plus respondent to “The Infinite Dial” to have internet access (88% to 84%) and have listened to online radio in the last week (67% to 36%). They are also more likely to:

-Own a smartphone (84% to 61%)
-Own a tablet (50% to 39%)
-Have a profile on any social network (81% to 67%)
-Have watched YouTube for music in the last week (53% to 33%)
-Be aware of Pandora (85% to 70%)
and have listened in the last month (53% to 31%)
-Be aware of iHeartRadio (65% to 48%)
and have listened in the last month (15% to 9%)
-Be aware of iTunes Radio (55% to 47%)
-Be aware of Beats Music (30% to 18%)
-Subscribe to Sirius XM Satellite Radio (18% to 15%)
-Use Twitter (33% to 16%)

Like CHR, much of the digital-orientation of Urban/Urban AC P1s is driven by age. The average age of those P1s is 30-years-old vs. age 28 for Top 40 P1s and 44 for the overall sample, giving Urban/Urban AC the second youngest audience of any format.

The study also finds that Urban/Urban AC P1s are more likely than listeners overall to listen to radio at work. Just over half (51%) of those who are P1 to those formats, and who are full- or part-time employed, say they listen to radio at work. That puts Urban radio well ahead of the 40% average and behind only Classic Rock (56%).

Edison Research made headlines recently when its report on media usage by format revealed that 13% of Urban/Urban AC listeners listened most often to AM/FM radio using earbuds, earphones or some other type of headset, vs. 4% of the national sample. In addition, 25% say that they would listen to radio a lot more if their cellphones contained an FM radio tuner vs. 17% of persons-12+ overall.

Released in early March, and sponsored by Triton Digital, “The Infinite Dial” surveyed more than 2,000 respondents aged 12 and older. Now in its twenty-second edition, “The Infinite Dial” has become digital audio’s annual report card. Respondents were asked to name their P1 station, each of which was individually coded by format. “The Infinite Dial 2014: A Look at Urban P1s” is based on 139 Urban and Urban AC P1s.

Download “The Infinite Dial 2014: A Look at Urban P1s” here.

The full “Infinite Dial 2014″ study is available here.

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