Programmers spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how listeners behave — and how the Portable People Meter is changing radio's understanding of such behavior.
Broadcast monitoring company Media Monitors finds evidence of one outcome of the PPM. It looked at stop set times on PPM stations, comparing data from the summer of last year vs. this year. The company found a migration of starting times.
"Compared to last year, twice as many stations in PPM markets are playing spots at :15," stated the company's President/CEO Philippe Generali. "The first quarter hour, however, remains a traditional 'sacred cow' where hardly any music station wants to be caught in a commercial break."
The first graph, he said, shows that non-PPM stations "still focus their commercial breaks at :20 and :50, whereas PPM stations have made the move to clustering their spots around the :15 and :45 quarter-hours."
The second chart compares the location of stop sets on PPM stations last year vs. this year.
"It is clear that Arbitron PPM stations have moved their stop breaks from last year."