Martin: PPM Favors 'Exposed' Listening, Not 'Chosen' Listening
August 28, 2008 at 2:20 PM (PT)
In the latest installment on his blog, consultant DAVID MARTIN noticed a significant erosion in the ARBITRON numbers of CHICAGO radio icon STEVE DAHL in the PPM pre-currency, as compared to his previous diary numbers. He attributes it to the PPM's ability to tabulate more passive listening while discounting respondent recall.
"The sea change here may well be the contrast in the measure of occasions," he wrote. "The diary permitted occasions and the duration of those occasions to be defined by respondent reporting alone. The PPM permits only a passive recording of occasions and time spent per occasion by exposure ... It seems reasonable to suggest this POV: The behavior has not changed, only the reporting of behavior. The data capture shifting from the elected/chosen to the heard/exposed. This introduces important issues related to cognition."
Read his entire column here.
In an excusive interview with ALL ACCESS, MARTIN expounded further: "At present we do not have enough data from enough markets to understand what is happening. Keep in mind the CHICAGO data is pre-currency and the DAHL story while very interesting, some might say provocative, is taken from early indications. It really is too early to tell, too early to form any conclusions. We need more data points."
He posed the following questions that still need to be answered:
1. Are franchise talent/programs advantaged by the diary and the possibility that their fans use the diary to vote for them in a recorded listening that is far greater than actual listening?
2. As midday and afternoon drive become more important in a PPM world -- and morning drive becomes, perhaps, less important -- will 9a-7p become the new prime? Will operators begin to question the renewal of big ticket morning talent? Will these dollars be reinvested in middays and afternoons or simply be dropped to the bottom line?
3. In the PPM world is it possible to be successful without your station getting played in the workplace? Do so-called compromise stations played in the workplace have a strategic advantage?
4. Will the niche targeted stations, those that have performed well in the diary because of their high TSL and despite their low cumes survive in a cume driven PPM world? Will niche programming be driven online and off the air as a result?
MARTIN essentially is making the same suggestions as those he presented at JOEL DENVER's CONCLAVE COLLEGE in 2005. "The diary was a game of getting into the mind of the listener, the PPM is a game of getting into the places/spaces of the listener.
"The biggest issue raised by PPM is cognition," he continued. "This is especially important since it relates to the ongoing discussions at the advertiser level concerning the practical definitions of engagement ... We are moving from the job of PD being one of getting a share of mind to the job being getting a share of place."