Winning The PPM Game
June 24, 2014
Early winners in PPM markets tended to be very clean music stations that already had huge cumes, but may not have gotten full Arbitron credit via the diary system.
Think Jack stations, and Oldies. Super-familiar, pretty clean...
I heard more than one News/Talk GM describe PPM as "People Prefer Music."
But then, WTOP kept confounding all the PPM gamers by running away from the competition in the DC market.
WTOP proved that the only problem with News/Talk in most markets is the 25+ minutes of spots and boring, predictable, screaming hosts.
Still, if you're thinking you can win the PPM battle by being a music box, think again.
First, in many markets, the mainstream AC station has become so predictable and so cluttered with spots and endorsements and promotions and crap that they've lost the primary usage benefit the format initially promised.
Second, to repeat what we all hear every day, if I want only music -- no companionship, no real human interaction (and I don't consider recorded liners as human interaction, and neither do your listeners) -- why would I choose your over-commercialized, cluttered, predictable station?
There are so many other better choices, starting with my own playlists on iTunes.
What you need are a few really talented hosts, regardless of your format, who understand how to find and deliver unique and highly emotionally charged content.
You need to put stuff around and between the songs that make your listeners feel.
And that means that everything from liners and jock content to contests and promotions needs to be re-thought with the goal of emotional impact in mind.
You need to be listened to rather than merely heard and that requires talent.