Pushing radio’s PPM CUME story


Fans of Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) have said the most important thing coming out of the new ratings system is that radio should adjust the way it sells advertising to promote the much larger CUME audiences reported under PPM. In Friday’s monthly PPM update for reporters, Arbitron brought out figures from New York, where PPM is still in test phase, showing that radio stations in the market collectively have a daily CUME of 11.9 million, more than double the circulation of 5.6 million for all daily newspapers in the market combined. The data run had been suggested by Citadel CEO Farid Suleman. Indeed, although Citadel has only two stations in New York, they still out-CUMEd the New York Times and every other daily except the Wall Street Journal. The larger clusters of Clear Channel, CBS Radio and Emmis even topped the WSJ, with Clear Channel all by itself beating all of the dailies combined.

The slides provided by Arbitron are worth a look. [CLICK HERE]

In Friday’s monthly PPM update, Arbitron officials noted that they are hitting panel sample size benchmarks in all of the PPM markets currently in currency or pre-currency mode and are well within the 80% guarantee to broadcasters for persons 18-54. The 18-34 demo continues to be vexing in the two embedded markets within the New York Metro. All six demos broken out within the 18-34 age group are below the 70% benchmark in the Nassau-Suffolk market and five of the six in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (although the Arbitron folks note that two more are close). For the core New York market, the 18-34 numbers are below the 70% benchmark only for women and blacks.

Having recently released the first ever Holiday ratings book under PPM, since that is a down time for diary measurement, Arbitron President, Sales and Marketing, Pierre Bouvard noted that ratings doubled and more for AC stations that programmed wall-to-wall Christmas music. “If I am a sales manager sitting here looking at these numbers, I’m thinking about my rates and what they should be next December. Certainly I have a very strong and persuasive story to have seismic rate increases for my radio station for next year,” he suggested.