Harker Study: PPM Downsizes Morning Drive
January 26, 2010 at 10:38 AM (PT)
HARKER RESEARCH has released a study that examines the impact PPM has had on morning shows. Although noting that the ratings -- and clout -- of morning shows have declined in the PPM era, that doesn't necessarily mean that morning shows can't be optimized.
"Strong morning drive numbers in the diary have been replaced with lower (and sometimes dramatically lower) PPM numbers," the report states. "Diary TSL in most markets runs about five to five-and-one-half hours. The markets that have switched to PPM now have about three to three-and-one-half hours of listening ... Adding to the problem is that PPM panelists seem to wake up later than diary holders. The greatest losses are in the first couple hours of morning drive."
"It is bad enough that TSL has declined by a third, but to add insult to injury, PPM cumes are higher," it continued. "This means that the lower TSL that remains is spread across more stations ... PPM panelists appear to listen to stations just a few minutes at a time. It is not unusual to see stations getting the majority of their morning drive quarter-hours one at a time."
In conclusion, the report notes, "The goal of a morning show has to be to produce ratings regardless of measurement issues or problems. PPM may be flawed and unfairly punish personality radio, but personalities have to understand that the game has changed. The personalities that survive will be the people who adapt."