Harker: Talk Station Raised Rating Share Almost 90% Using Voltair
June 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM (PT)
While CANADA's NUMERIS rating service has banned the VOLTAIR box (NET NEWS, 6/16) and NIELSEN notes that it's "studying" the issue, HARKER RESEARCH conducted more tests with VOLTAIR. This time it was a syndicated show on a Talk station who has been under-performing on PPM -- and by using VOLTAIR, TSL rose 50% and cume rose 60%, creating a nearly 90% increase in share.
In the latest post on its Radio Insights blog, RICHARD HARKER wrote that they chose "a well-known national host who had been rumored to 'encode poorly' on one particular station," then "compared listenership for two weeks in 2014 and the same two weeks in 2015. The days were chosen at random. We had not seen the data before choosing the days. We focused on one quarter-hour, 15 minutes of data. The quarter-hour was chosen randomly. We didn’t cherry-pick this particular quarter-hour."
The result: "Listenership significantly increased after the station installed VOLTAIR, not by a little but a lot. Each average minute in the chosen quarter-hour rose. Much of the growth was fueled by fewer zero listener minutes ... The 2014 shows had large gaps with zero listeners that might last for three or more minutes at a time. The 2015 shows with VOLTAIR still had occasional zeros, but they were fewer in number as well as shorter in duration."
HARKER did offer the following caveat: "We would like to emphasize again that this is one station and one show, one that already has a reputation for poor encoding. We do not represent this to be any more than a single experience with VOLTAIR. Your mileage my vary."
However, "It is NIELSEN’s job to prove that gains with VOLTAIR are not real, that the box is creating listeners rather than helping decoders capture listeners that meters would have otherwise missed. Unless it can prove that PPM today is capturing all listening and VOLTAIR is artificially inflating the numbers, NIELSEN has no right to tell radio stations that they cannot use VOLTAIR."