Tuesday, September 11, 2007

At Work Listening - Even More Important!!!

In part 2 of our look at the realities from PPM that apply to everyone (PPM or Diary). In a recent FMQB article from Arbitron's Gary Marince he observes:

"In PPM, employed male listening is higher than female listening . . . employed males appear to have the most listening to radio. This helps explain why great Rock stations enjoy healthy ratings in PPM."

Even in the diary books we usually see the Classic Rock is #2 in At Work listening and all forms of rock do better than many expect at work. With the PPM Meter automatically recording listening, instead of relying on recall Gary feels we are seeing even more TSL from at work in PPM than we see in the diary- and he has all the data at his finger tips.

If you've ever looked at the diaries it's easy to see At Work listening with that entry at the top of the page and a squiggly line all the way down to 5p racking up 25-30 quarter hours in 1 day. It isn't quite as dramatic in the PPM as we all know that few sit by the radio all day. But, the reality is that Men work and they do listen to radio on the job. You can hassle with your MP3 or hunt for off beat Internet stations or fiddle with the satellite receiver at your desk - or just tune in the rock station we all know in the market and keep it on in the background. In the end terrestrial radio is still easier to use and more familiar.

How much effort are you putting into at work listening? 20 years ago when we began to really focus on at work there were telemarketing programs, big contests, donut remotes, and a fair amount of imaging spent on at work. Monitoring around as I travel - you don't hear as much of an effort anymore. In some markets mid-days is a daypart where we most often 'hard drive' it with the PD, VT talent or a production person doing the shift. There are some contests, but is that really the big draw? Is it more likely that the un-employed person, or very un-busy person at work - is hanging around waiting for the code word of the day?

The wiser choice might be to focus the show on the at work listener. Make sure the mid-day talent is live and interacting with the at work listener. Take a few calls, have a few features that stand out musically, but most of all make sure the talent has a vision of listener in an at work environment. The imaging should also take on an at work lean - look for drops that lean on the at work experience, copy that relates to at work moments and make sure to brand yourself as the at work station.

AC is really the last format that really works at getting at work listening. But, even there we see less effort than we saw 10-15 years ago when it was at its peak. In both the diary world (where you have that squiggly line) and in the PPM reality where you are more likely to have a longer TSL than the average 2:50 hours per week from at work listening and boost your TSL.

1 comment:

Dan Kelley said...

Excellent series Dave. Thank you.

During my present "great radio vacation" I've been able to listen to a lot of midday radio for around the country.

I can't believe how many stations still 'hard drive it' middays when it should be one of their highest priorities.

As you say, its that squiggly line in the diaries that justify the investment.