Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Holiday PPM Analysis For Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix And Minneapolis
January 22, 2015
By now you’ve seen the dramatic impact various season-specific fictional characters have had on the ratings fortunes of many radio stations. While this is not directly supported by analysis, isn’t it interesting to note that despite all the online availability of multiple CHRISTMAS music channels, radio still moves the needle in such dramatic fashion? There might be a story there.
The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., along with our data enablers from XTRENDS, are about to take you on a journey through four demos in five more markets. The HOLIDAY survey covered 12/4 through 12/31 and the holiday touched every single week. Let us begin.
DETROIT: In The Nick Of Time
In NOVEMBER, iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC was sitting in a tie at #11 P6+ with a 4.3 share. Start serving some egg nog and the station took off to #1 for now two books in a row (9.6-13.7). It managed to just edge out last year’s total of a 13.4. iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WMXD (MIX) was off slightly (6.8-6.5) but remained at #2. It was sharing that particular spotlight with CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOMC, which ended a three-book slide (5.6-6.5) as it moved in from #5. CBS RADIO Sports WXYT-F (THE TICKET) continued to ride the LIONS (6.1-6.2) though it did drop back to #4. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WJLB moved up four spots to #5 with its best book in over a year (4.5-5.1). One of the trends we have noticed so far is that Country is not the only format affected by all the good cheer. In many markets, Top 40 has seen its share of losses. That was the case here as iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKQI (CHANNEL 955) had its lowest share in over a year (4.9-4.2) to slip to #8. The already reeling CBS RADIO Country WYCD got no gift from Santa. The station fell back to a tie at #12 with its lowest total in over a year (4.4-3.5).
WNIC padded its already impressive 25-54 share with another four points to lead the way for the second book in a row. However impressive this was, it was almost a half share less than last year. WXYT-F was off slightly but remained at #2 while WMXD held on at #3 with its lowest score since AUGUST. WJLB again landed its best book in over a year to move forward two places to #4. This bumped GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WRIF back to #5 as the station acquired its lowest share since JULY. WOMC had its best book since SEPTEMBER to move up three spots to #6. Both WKQI and WYCD had their lowest totals in over a year to fall back to #8 and #10, respectively.
For the first time in a year, WNIC assumed control of 18-34. We sense a pattern here. However, this year’s share was over a share-and-a-half more slender than last. WJLB was flat and happy at #2 while WKQI fell from the top to #3 with its lowest share since … wait for it … OCTOBER. WRIF was also flat and happy at #4 while WXYT-F was off slightly but still inhabiting the #5 slot. WYCD again posted its lowest share in over a year to slip to #8. As recently as AUGUST the station was #2.
The sweep was complete as WNIC was #1 18-49 for the second straight book with a number that was almost a full share lighter than last year’s. WJLB shot up the chart two spots to #2 with its best performance in over a year while WXYT-F was off a smidge to remain at #3. WRIF had its lowest number since JULY but managed to advance one square to #4. Not surprisingly, WKQI had its smallest share in over a year and dropped three places to #5. WYCD suffered the same fate as it fell from #7 to #11.
MIAMI-FT.LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD: A Santa-Free Zone
This is one of the few – if not the only – market that did not have a full-time jingle bell rocker. So, this was just another book. As usual, COX RADIO Urban AC WHQT (HOT) led the P6+ parade by a wide margin (9.1-8.6). For the sixth book in a row, LINCOLN AC WLYF (LITE) was #2 (7.0-6.9). COX RADIO AC WFEZ (EASY) had a huge increase, which led to its best book in over a year (4.9-6.1). Alas, this only allowed the station to move forward one step to #3. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR) had its lowest share in over a year (5.8-5.4) to slip back to #4. Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome a new member to the top-five club. LINCOLN Classic Hits WMXJ (MAGIC) joined the party with its best book in exactly a year (4.2-4.8). This bumped iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHYI (Y100) to #6 (4.9-4.4).
WHQT was off slightly 25-54 but still managed to lead the pack. However, WFEZ surged to #2 (from #5) to pull within a share of the lead. WLYF – which saw its three-book run at #1 end last survey – fell to #3 with its lowest share since JULY. WHYI took a step back to #4 as it was down for the second straight survey and WAMR slid to #5 with its weakest performance since APRIL.
For the second book in a row, COX RADIO Urban WEDR (JAMZ) was #1 18-34 though it did shed a chunk of share this time. CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPOW (POWER) was unable to capitalize as it, too, lost some share, landing its lowest total in over a year but retaining the runner-up position. WHYI remained at #3 with its lowest share in over a year and was joined by iHEARTMEDIA Urban WMIB (THE BEAT), which moved up from #4 despite a down book. WHQT also took a hit but held steady at #5. A couple of stations were making some noise farther down the list. COX RADIO Top 40/M WFLC (HITS) had its best book in over a year to move up four spots to a tie at #7. WFEZ almost doubled its share from the previous survey as it leapt seven spots to #9.
Make it two in a row at #1 18-49 for WQHT. It perceived a serious threat from WFEZ, which jumped from a tie at #7 to #2. Two books ago WHYI was #1 in this demo. Its shares have declined since then and the station slipped to #3 where it was joined by WEDR, which moved up from #4 despite a down book. WPOW dropped two spots to #5 with its smallest output since SEPTEMBER. In OCTOBER WLYF was wrapping up a three-book run at #1. The station has back pedaled since then and this time fell out of the top five to #6 with its lowest share since JUNE.
SEATTLE-TACOMA: Baby It’s Warm Outside
In contrast with the previous market, this one had two stations that went with the seasonal motif. HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM) was the clear leader P6+ (6.2-10.7) though, unlike many others of its ilk, it could not match last year’s total of a 13.8. HUBBARD Top 40/M KQMV (MOVIN) was slightly affected by the season. It remained at #2 but was off slightly (6.0-5.6). ENTERCOM Active Rock KISW moved up to #3 with a slight uptick (4.9-5.0). It was followed by the “other” CHRISTMAS station – CRISTA Christian Contemporary KCMS (SPIRIT). Though it moved up two spots to #4, it was actually flat (4.6-4.6) and off last year’s 5.7. BONNEVILLE Talk KIRO-F had its lowest share since AUGUST (5.0-4.5) and slipped a couple of places to #5. ENTERCOM Country KKWF (THE WOLF) was casting a hungry eye toward those reindeer. The station hunted down its lowest share since APRIL (4.7-4.4) to drop to #6.
Last month it did not appear that Santa was much of a helper for KRWM 25-54. The station barely moved from NOVEMBER. That all changed this time as it jumped from #8 to #1. However, this year’s total was almost four shares less than last. KISW was still #2 with a slight increase while KQMV dropped two spots to #3 with its lowest share since JULY. KKWF had a slight increase while staying at #4. KCMS actually lost some share as it fell two spots to #5. KIRO-F could have used a little SEAHAWKS magic. The station had its lowest score since JULY and fell three places to a tie at #7.
Frosty worked his magic for KRWM 18-34 as the station hopped from #6 to #1. However, this year’s share was almost six shares below what the station produced in 2013. KISW just missed beating Santa after posting its best book since MAY while KQMV dropped to #3 with its lowest share since MARCH. This also ended MOVIN’s eight-book run at #1. KKWF actually ended a five-book slide and remained on hold at #4. ENTERCOM Alternative KNDD (THE END) had a very slight share loss but that was enough to drop the station two spots to #5. CBS Adult Hits KJAQ (JACK) ended a pretty strong four-book surge as it fell back to #6.
There was a new #1 18-49 station but it was not who you would have expected. KISW moved up to the top, the first time it’s been #1 since APRIL. KRWM did have a solid boost as it jumped from a tie at #6 to a tie at #2, though this year’s total was nearly five shares lighter than last. KQMV was also at #2. This ended its eight-book run at #1. KKWF was up slightly to remain at #4 while KCMS fell two spots to #5 as its four-book upward run ceased to be. KJAQ dropped to #6 thanks to its smallest share since JULY.
PHOENIX: Snow Falls In The Desert
Long credited with being patient zero of the holiday music plague, iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (99.9KEZ) flexed its holly jolly might (7.8-14.3) to remain #1 P6+. As lofty as that sounds, it wasn’t nearly as big as last year’s 15.0 share. Still, not too shabby. This migration of listening did have a negative effect on the rest of the market’s major players. iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFYI-A remained at #2 though it was down a smidge (5.3-5.1). There were several ties that followed. Two cluster bros were at #3. HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX was down (5.0-4.6) but moved up from a tie at #4 while HUBBARD Active Rock KUPD advanced from #6 despite a slight loss (4.8-4.6). There was also a tie-up at #5. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KOOL slipped from a tie at #4 with its smallest number since JANUARY (5.0-4.4) while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KMXP (MIX) slid from #3 with its lowest share since last year’s HOLIDAY book (5.1-4.4). iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX remained at #7 but landed its smallest book in over a year (4.2-3.9).
KESZ finally made it back to #1 25-54 for the first time since JANUARY – nearly doubling its previous share in the process. This year’s haul was about a share lighter than last. KUPD took a step back to #2 with a modest decrease while KSLX remained at #3 with a less modest loss. iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (THE MOUNTAIN) had its best book since SEPTEMBER to move up to #4. KNIX had its lowest share since FEBRUARY to drop to #5.
Much like it did a year ago, KESZ took the lead 18-34 with a number that was huge but about a share-and-a-half less imposing than last season. KUPD saw its nine-book run at #1 evaporate as it landed its lowest number since MAY. RIVIERA Top 40/R KKFR (POWER) actually flew in the face of tradition by posting its highest number since SEPTEMBER as it moved up to #3. Two stations travelling in opposite directions met up at #4. KMXP fell from a tie at #2 while KSLX moved up from a tie at #12 with its highest share since MAY. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KZZP (KISS) appeared to take the holiday hit as it posted its lowest share in over a year and fell two spots to a tie at #7.
KESZ filled in all four corners of its Bingo card by capturing the 18-49 crown. While it more than doubled DECEMBER’s share, it was still a full point off from last year’s pace. KUPD dropped to #2, which ended a six-book run at the top. KSLX moved up a spot to #3 though it was flat. There was a four-way tie at #4, which was kind of poetic. KMXP remained in place with a small loss while KNIX slipped from #3 with its lowest share since FEBRUARY. RIVIERA Hot AC KMVA (HOT) moved up from #6 despite a down book while KYOT advanced from #8 just by being flat.
MINNEAPOLIS-ST.PAUL: North Pole South
This market was similar to SEATTLE where there were two stations that went the holiday route – a music station and a Christian station. The clear winner was iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL), which almost doubled its P6+ share from DECEMBER (7.7-15.3) as it moved to #1. This was also much higher than last year’s 13.8 share. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KDWB felt the chill from its roommate as it slipped back to #2 (9.0-8.5). iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K-102) also shed some share (7.4-6.5) but remained at #3. CUMULUS Classic Rock KQRS was down for the fifth book in a row and posted its lowest number in over a year. Its reward? A three-place improvement to #4. Two stations were tangled up at #5. HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95) remained in place though it was given its lowest rating in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (K-FAN) slid from #4 as it saw its six-book uptrend end abruptly. UNIVERSITY OF NORTHWESTERN-ST.PAUL Christian Contemporary KTIS – which flipped the holiday switch about two weeks after KOOL – moved up to #8 (4.9-5.3). That did not compare favorably with last year when it was #3 with a 6.5.
KQQL made the three-step jump to #1 25-54 by adding almost six shares to its previous total. This was about a half a share shy of last year. KDWB ended a four-book run at #1 as it slipped back to #2 while CBS RADIO Adult Hits KZJK (JACK) had a healthy increase and rose four places to #3. KSTP had its smallest showing in over a year to drop back a spot to #4 where it was tied with KFXN, which fell from #2. KQRS also had its smallest share in over a year and took two steps back to #6. KTIS did move up three places to a tie at #10 but was still below last year’s share and rank.
KDWB said “none shall pass” as it remained #1 18-34. Though it did lose some share, it maintained a comfortable lead over the challenger. That was, naturally, KQQL, which moved up to #2 from a tie at #9 by posting a double-digit score – almost a share better than last year. In case you’re wondering, Santa did not beat KDWB last year, either. CUMULUS Active Rock KXXR (93X) dropped to #3 despite an uptrend while KZJK moved up two spots to #4 with its best book since SEPTEMBER. A couple of stations decided to hang out at #5. KSTP moved back from #4 with its lowest share in exactly a year while MPR TA KCMP (THE CURRENT) moved in from a tie at #9 with its highest total since AUGUST. The reindeer seemed to run over the two country stations. KEEY fell two places to a tie at #7 with its smallest total in over a year while CBS RADIO Country KMNB (BUZ’N) accomplished the exact same feat. The only difference was that it dropped four spots in the standings to co-habit at #7 with KEEY.
This time, two stations posted double-digit shares 18-49. The usual suspect was KDWB but it dropped to #2 because KQQL almost doubled its share as it rose from #9 to claim the top spot. The station also eclipsed last year’s number by about a half share. KXXR was up slightly to remain at #3 while KZJK jumped up to #4 with a very healthy increase. KSTP dropped from #2 to #5 with its lowest share in over a year while KFXN dropped four places to #7. Both KEEY and KMNB were affected here. The former had a small loss to remain at #6 while the latter dropped to #8 with its least productive outing in over a year.
It is time for The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. to put away our holiday decorations and get ready to deal with the return to normalcy of JANUARY. We’ll be back in a month for more pithy observations. Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out any time if you need insight into your station’s numbers.