PPM Respondents: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?
In this latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study with nearly 1100 respondents, ages 14-54 in all PPM markets, we see that, among those who say they would participate in a PPM-style ratings program, 89% use radio daily – 10 points higher than their non-participating cousins. When it comes to daily usage of at least 30 minutes, those who say they would participate in PPM are 14 points higher than those who predict they’d say “no” to PPM.
These human periscopes who are inclined to participate in the PPM ratings are beneficial in many ways. In our data we’ve seen that they’re more highly attuned to advertising messages both for stations and their clients; a win either way. They’re also more likely to enjoy the contests that radio stations use as part of their promotional arsenal, since they’re also receptive to the incentive programs that Nielsen Audio runs to keep panelists compliant.
Diary markets are still playing a game best likened to “Whac-a-Mole,” where new respondents pop up in different Zip Codes somewhat unpredictably (though some Zip Codes yield respondents more efficiently than others). But, PPM markets are playing “Battleship,” where ratings consultants or corporate ratings experts can get prior-month rips showing where the meters were (and likely still are) for a given station and its competitors. This means that you can be incredibly precise with your marketing efforts and increase your chances of sinking their battleship, while keeping a lid on your expenditures. It also means that you can tailor your programming based on what you can learn about in-demo consumers in those zip codes.
As broadcasters we’d like to reach every possible set of ears in the market, but playing for ratings means that some consumers are more important than others. In order to give sales departments the numbers they need to prove the size of the station’s audience and turn the work that programmers do into billing, the ears of ratings respondents are the only ears that matter. All broadcasters in radio and TV complain about the ratings. But, these data reveal that, even with the limitations, PPM ratings are good for radio all in all. Unless, as NuVoodoo President, Carolyn Gilbert, observes, “One of your important panelists goes on vacation during a key ratings week, in which case it’s the worst system ever devised by anyone anywhere.”