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Call Letters & Identifiers Remain Relevant in PPM World

Don't harm your core just to chase incidental listening, Coleman warns

Just because the Arbitron PPM measures all listening doesn’t mean you shouldn’t market your station any more. It’s all about letting people know you’re there and what your station has to offer.

From a Coleman Insights Webinar this week we get a little more insight into listener behavior from PPM panelists, and recommendations on programming for a PPM world, building on their earlier presentation at the NAB Radio Show.

Recognize the role that intentional listening plays for your radio station. If you think programming in the PPM world is all about cume and you don’t need to mention your call letters and identifiers anymore, think again, say Coleman President/CEO Warren Kurtzman and VP John Boyne.

Chasing so-called incidental listening, trying to broaden the appeal of your station to gain these listeners, can cause your core to collapse. That’s because, in order to do this, you could end up making changes that undermine why people listen intentionally, according to the researchers, who talked with a total of 30 people after they left PPM panels in Houston, Philly and New York.

What surprised the Coleman folks? How much listeners rely on pre-sets, rather than scanning the dial. This means there are few chances of discovering a new station.

Also striking was how often consumers misidentify stations they don’t listen to too much. New York panelists, for example, talked to researchers about stations “that didn’t exist in the form they described them, for, in some cases, 10 years,” said Kurtzman, like 1130 WNEW and WHN.