Harker Research: Is Radio Dying, Growing, Or What?
August 11, 2010 at 12:16 PM (PT)
In a blog posted on their website this morning, HARKER RESEARCH confronts what they feel are unfair, negative "comments by new media pundits and radio critics." They are:
* Radio’s dead
* No one listens to radio
* Everybody knows that the iPOD/Satellite/Internet/iPHONE/whatever killed radio
* Why would anyone still be listening to radio?
"The funny thing is that while all these self-proclaimed radio experts speak with confidence about radio’s imminent demise, no one offers any credible proof. They jump on any flimsy circumstantial evidence, and say, SEE, SEE, RADIO’S DYING!!! We at HARKER RESEARCH decided that it was time to see what was really going on with radio. What we discovered just may surprise you," wrote HARKER.
The funny thing is that while all these self-proclaimed radio experts speak with confidence about radioâ€™s imminent demise, no one offers any credible proof. What we discovered just may surprise you,
Suffice to say, HARKER is not a fan of the job ARBITRON is doing in the transition to the PERSONAL PEOPLE METER, calling it "this messy switch-over to PPM," and noting that "As more markets transition to PPM, it will become even more difficult to draw meaningful conclusions about trends in radio listenership. And it couldn't come at a worse time."
Nevertheless, HARKER looks at PPM stats, along with ARBITRON diary info and data released by NIELSEN, which produces audience estimates for 51 smaller markets, and have year to year trends we can look at.
How’s Radio Doing?
"The numbers suggest that radio is pretty much where it was a year ago. It’s up by some measures, down in others, but no huge swings one way or another," continues HARKER. "Not the free-fall that radio critics like to claim."
HARKER concludes "the picture is one of radio holding its own. About the same number of people listen to radio as they did in 2009. They listen about the same length of time as they did in 2009, maybe off a quarter-hour. And as far as radio’s value as an advertising vehicle, the medium’s AQH rating is fractionally lower in PPM markets, mixed in diary markets, and on average about the same as it was last year. Is this what you expected? Probably not, given the negativity surrounding radio."
"In a year that PANDORA doubles its registered users, APPLE rolls out a 3G iPHONE and iPAD, and social networking goes through the roof, people are still consuming local broadcast radio pretty much at the same levels they were consuming it the year before."
Read the full blog here.