In non-merger news: Not all Mozart is the same. Public radio wants to know more about listeners’ classical music preferences during middays.
That’s why the group Public Radio Program Directors is using a $250,000 CPB grant for a two-year study that will include music testing in four markets.
Why hone in on mid-day rather than drive time?
I asked PRPD President Arthur Cohen that question; he gave three reasons for the focus: Middays are the prime time for music listening. It’s the daypart with the most public radio stations locally selecting music and hosting. And a previous PRPD study on hosting skills development was focused on that daypart.
Another reason for the study is to understand how listeners are handling big changes in content delivery platforms — such as podcasts, Internet radio, MP3 players, satellite radio and HD Radio — that have occurred in the 20 years since pubcasters’ last nationally-shared classical music testing project.
“We will try to determine if they think of satellite and HD as different, but that is not our focus,” said Cohen. “Right now, terrestrial is still by far the dominant real-time delivery method for audio. If this information is valuable for HD — and/or Internet streaming depending how the royalty issues pan out — so much the better.”
PRPD hopes to announce the four markets for the music testing soon.
Findings will be presented at PRPD’s Public Radio Programming Conference in Minneapolis, this September.