Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Oct. PPM Analysis For N.Y., L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
October 28, 2013
ALL ACCESS presents OCTOBER PPM market highlights, compiled by the ratings experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. and powered by XTRENDS, radio's #1 PPM and diary analysis tool. All numbers reflect subscriber only data.
The never-ending wheel o’ ratings has come around again on its perennial 28-day march. As has become our custom, The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. divine the runes to sift out the stories and trends in the top markets across AMERICA.
This particular survey we will name OCTOBER – even though it spent more time in SEPTEMBER than with itself – covered the dates of 9/12/13-10/09/13.
As always, we will bow to local market knowledge so if you wish to illuminate, magnify or correct any of our observations, please feel free to reach out to us through a variety of platforms:
Now, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat (nothin’ up my sleeve) …
NEW YORK: The Usual, Please
Why, it seems like only yesterday – okay, it was AUGUST – that we were marveling at the fact that CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) was no longer the #1 station in the city that never sleeps. Well, apparently New Yorkers prefer to leave the light on as the station remained at the top of the heap (or is it king of the hill?) with its best number since JUNE (6.6-6.7). For the second straight month, YMF MEDIA Urban AC WBLS held down the second position as it also secured its best share since JUNE (5.9-6.1). Last month’s third-place tie was broken because CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-FM was flat (5.5-5.5) to remain at #3 while CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was off slightly (5.5-5.4), which also happened to be its lowest number since FEBRUARY, and slipped to #4. Holding on in fifth place for the fourth straight month was SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) (4.8-4.6). In case you were keeping tabs on the Country side of town, CUMULUS Country WNSH (NASH FM) had the exact same number for the third straight book (1.9-1.9) to remain at #20 (tied).
Last month, we were all witnesses to a three-way tie for the #1 position 25-54 … which led to speculation that WLTW could, possibly, maybe, perhaps surrender its crown. Alas, ‘twas not meant to be. LITE took over sole possession of first place with its best number since JUNE. Cluster companion WHTZ was up slightly yet slipped out of that tie to #2 while WSKQ took a bit of a hit and slid back to #3. WBLS was flat to remain at #4 for the third straight survey but it is now in a flat-footed tie with CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU, which moved up a spot with its best book in over a year.
It has been a while – since MAY to be exact, we looked – since WHTZ had a truly dominant, double-digit-sized book 18-34. Well, it happened and the station stretched its lead over WSKQ to almost two-and-a-half points – even though LA MEGA ended a two-book slide. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) also ended a two-book slide to remain at #3. CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) was up for the second straight month to remain at #4 though it is now sharing that space with WLTW – which was also up for the second straight survey. All around the country, we are seeing huge gains in this demo for Country stations. Alas, that does not seem to be the case in NEW YORK as WNSH ended a two-book surge by falling from a tie at #13 to #17.
The quo was very status 18-49 as the top-five positions remained completely unaltered. WHTZ was flat yet remained in its customary #1 position while WLTW had its best book since MARCH to make its #2 position awfully close to the top. WSKQ was down for the third straight month yet remained at #3 while WKTU was flat to stay at #4 for the seventh straight book. Rounding out the top five was WBLS, which posted its best number since MAY.
LOS ANGELES: Down But Still On Top
This survey played pretty much according to the script that has been written for 2013. For the entire year, two cluster compadres have alternated between the #1 and #2 positions. That trend continued even though both stations had down books. For the second straight month, CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) remained the front-runner (5.9-5.4) while CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) inched a little bit closer at #2 (5.7-5.3). A year ago at this very same moment, CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) was sitting in a tie at #10 with a 3.1 share. Now, for the fifth straight book, it is holding on at #3 with a much larger share (4.5-4.4). It got plenty crowded at the #4 bar stool as three stations were deciding who should pick up the tab. CCM+E AC KOST was up slightly (4.1-4.2) to remain right where it was. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) was also up enough (4.0-4.2) to move up from #5 while CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) had its best book in over a year (3.9-4.2) to jump two places.
The 2013 script for 25-54 is similar to the one we read for 6+ with one small alteration. KBIG is always #1. And, for the tenth straight survey, that came to pass. KISS was #2 for the tenth straight month, as well, but slipped a little farther behind its cluster compatriot. As recently as APRIL, SBS Regional Mexican KLAX (LA RAZA) was sitting in a tie at #11. It just completed its third straight month of performances at #3, with its highest number in over a year. CBS Alternative KROQ was off slightly to remain at #4 though it is mere inches ahead of two stations deadlocked at #5. KAMP was down slightly to remain in that position while KPWR had its best book in over a year to move up two slots from a tie at #7.
Back in JULY, KPWR upended KIIS 18-34 to claim the lead position. Since then, the stations have taken slightly different paths. KIIS returned to the #1 spot almost immediately and continued to hold its lead. However, after falling pretty behind the leader, POWER landed its best book in over a year to close the gap dramatically. Last month, KBIG and KAMP were locked at #3, but this time the stations went in directly opposite directions, which left KBIG alone in third place and KAMP at #4. KLAX remained at #5 but it is worth noting that the station has more than doubled its shares since APRIL.
If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed there is a certain rotation to who claims #1 in each demo. And, since we never, ever violate rotations, it comes as no surprise to find that KBIG was #1 18-49 as it wrestled the lead away from KIIS. This had a lot to do with the fact that KBIG was up slightly while KIIS shed some share. KPWR remained at #3 by matching its best number of the year. KLAX once again had its best book in over a year, which allowed it to trade places with KAMP, which was off enough to drop back to #5.
CHICAGO: V Has Some Company
It has been said that it’s lonely at the top but we don’t think CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) has minded being #1 since SANTA left the building. The station ended a two-book slide (6.2-6.5) but for the first time all year, it is hearing footsteps. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A remained at #2 but posted its best showing in over a year (5.4-6.2) to become a legitimate threat to WVAZ. Ever since FEBRUARY, HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) has played at a different level – that would mean being in the top 3 every book. It held on to #3 again with a flat book (5.2-5.2). As we go down the list, the numbers get more compressed, which allows small changes to yield bigger results. Case in point, CCM+E Urban WGCI. The station was up slightly (4.2-4.3) yet jumped two places to #4. CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) had its lowest number since JUNE (4.5-4.2) to slip one spot to #5. Meanwhile, CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) came off its best book of the year with something slightly less so (4.3-4.0) to slip from #5 into a tie at #7. In case you were wondering how the latest format alteration was performing, CCM+E Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) had its best number since FEBRUARY (2.9-3.0) and inched up a spot to #12.
We mentioned previously that WTMX has been playing at a different level this year. This has translated to the station being #1 every single, stinkin’ book in 2013 with 25-54. It just popped its best number since JUNE and extended its lead over #2 WVAZ to a full two shares. WKSC was off slightly yet remained at #3 though it is now tied with WGCI, which moved up a spot because it added a bit of share. WBBM-A again had its best book in over a year and moved into the top 5 for the first time since FEBRUARY, climbing all the way up from a tie at #8. Last month, three stations were tied at #5, and all three saw their ratings decline. WUSN dropped to #7 while UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUE BUENA) dropped to #9. CBS RADIO AAA WXRT took the biggest hit as it ended up at #10.
Make it five months in a row at the top 18-34 for WGCI as the station had its second largest book of the year and widened its lead over #2 WKSC as KISS had some ratings erosion to contend with. WTMX remained at #3 as it came off a flat book with something that was a bit tastier. Last month, two stations were tied at #4 and, as is often the case, they went in opposite directions. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) had its best number since JUNE to remain in place while CRAWFORD Urban WPWX (POWER) had its lowest number since FEBRUARY to drop to #5.
WTMX maintained its hold on the top spot 18-49 despite a flat book. WGCI, which had temporary possession of the crown a mere two books ago, crept closer to the top with a solid book at #2. WKSC was off slightly yet remained at #3 while WVAZ ended a three-book slide to move up a slot to #4. WBBM-F actually posted its best number in over a year, yet due to a strange quirk in how mathematics work, the station dropped one position to #5.
SAN FRANCISCO: Seems Like Old Times
Those of a certain age will recall a time when diaries were the coin of the realm and this market was dominated by AM radio. Though the wheels of time grind on, it is interesting to note that for the fourth straight month, the top two stations have not modulated their frequencies. CBS RADIO News KCBS-A has held or shared the lead for four straight books with an amazingly consistent run of numbers (5.3-5.2). Despite the fact that the GIANTS flamed out a bit early this year, CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A remained a solid #2 (4.9-4.9). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) held forth at #3 for the third time in the last four surveys (4.7-4.6). As recently as JUNE, ENTERCOM AC KOIT shocked the market by claiming the #1 spot in a non-SANTA influenced survey. Since then, the station has lost more than a full share of ratings, but actually moved up a spot, this time to #4 despite a down book (4.5-4.3). CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) followed its best book in over a year with something that did not quite live up to that standard (4.6-4.1), which forced the station to slip a spot to #5.
Well, things certainly got interesting 25-54. For the third straight month, KMVQ had the exact same number and has seen its rank go from #1 to #2 and back to #1. Meanwhile, last month’s “big story” – KIOI – could not match its best book of the year and slid a spot to #2. This month’s “big story” – or should we say “gran historia” – was UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG, which easily had its biggest book in over year to leap from a tie at #8 to #3.
There were a couple of startling changes to the top five 18-34 but they did not involve those in the positions of power. CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL was in its customary position as the dominant player in the market with a smaller but still multiple-share lead over #2 CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD). KMVQ remained solid and dependable at #3. KNBR-A appeared to be on a bit of a decline last month but the station rebounded smartly to move from a tie at #7 back to more familiar turf at #4. It’s been a wild ride for CCM+E Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS). In JANUARY the station tied at #18 but moved up to #4 in JUNE. For the last two books, the station had slipped back to #13, but this time it exploded and moved all the way up to #5. CBS Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) saw its recent joy ride come to an end as it slid from #4 to #8 while KIOI dropped from #5 to #9.
KMEL’s once formidable lead 18-49 has shrunk to the slimmest of possible margins, but the station remained at #1. KMVQ crept ever so close at #2, even though the station posted the exact same number for the fourth straight month. KIOI remained at #3 but dropped off the pace a bit. KYLD was down for the third month in a row to remain at #4, though it is now tied with KBRG, which had its best book in over a year to move up from #8. KQED INC. N/T KQED had its best number since MAY but still slid out of the top five to land at #6.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: Kiss Nation
That CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was #1 again was no surprise. It merely replicated what it has done for the entirety of 2013. However, the station had its best book in over a year (7.8-8.2) and has been a truly dominant force all year long. Consider this: CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) had its best book since NOVEMBER (4.7-5.0) to move up a slot to #2 yet still trails KISS by over three shares! SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY came off its highest book of the year with a bit of a thud (5.9-4.9) to slip back a space to #3. A couple of stations moved up the ranks to land in a tie at #4. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was off ever so slightly from its best-book-of-the-year pace (4.6-4.5) yet moved up from #5. CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR 99.5) had its best showing since JUNE (4.2-4.5) to move up two spots. Meanwhile, CCM+E Hot AC KDMX (NOW) had its lowest number in exactly a year (4.7-4.0) and dropped from a tie at #3 to #6.
As dominant as KHKS is 6+, that isn’t even close to how the station owns the 25-54 demo. The station was flat – matching its best book of the last year – to remain at #1 yet still extended its lead over #2 KLTY to over three full shares as that station lost a bit of steam. KPLX was also flat yet managed to advance two squares to #3. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA) rebounded from its worst book since last OCTOBER to climb from #7 into a tie at #4 with KZPS, which had a slight increase in share. KKDA was not quite as hot as it was last month and fell two places to #6 while KDMX had its lowest total in over a year to drop four spots to #7. The race behind KISS is very tight as less than half a share separates second and sixth place.
Given what we’ve seen already it comes as no surprise to see KHKS reign supreme over 18-34. Curiously, its lead over #2 KKDA is actually under two shares. Usually, that would be considered dominant but KISS is setting a different standard here. Two months ago, RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) was languishing at #11. But the station is on a hot streak and just climbed from a tie at #6 to #3. KLNO ended a pretty dramatic two-book slide and rose from #8 back to more familiar surroundings at #4. A couple of stations moved down the chart to land in a tie at #5. KPLX was off ever so slightly to drop from a tie at #4 while KLTY ended a three-book surge to fall from #3. KDMX has been on a roller coaster, going from a tie at #9 to last month’s tie at #4 to this month’s residence at #8.
It probably won’t shock you to read that KHKS was #1 – again – 18-49 and that the station has a three-plus share lead over #2 KKDA . That may look bad on paper, but KKDA is over a share stronger than it was at this point last year. KLTY had been on a three-book tear that had taken it from #11 to #3. The station dropped some share in this survey, but remained at #3. KPLX had its highest number since FEBRUARY to move out of a tie at #6 and claim #4 as its very own. KLNO remained at #5 but appears to be on the road to recovery from last month’s shocker. KDMX will be glad to turn the page on this month as it again posted its lowest number in over a year to fall from #4 to #6.
So concludes round one of our analysis. We appreciate you taking the time to read this. Feel free to share your feedback with us (your opinion counts … a little diary humor there …)
Stay tuned for round two when we examine the inner workings and deepest feelings of HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA and BOSTON.