Stern Pool Shrinks But an Untapped Segment of Heavy Listeners Is Still Out There

The pool of potential active Stern listeners is shrinking.
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The pool of potential active Stern listeners is shrinking.

That’s the finding of Bridge Ratings, which has been following the impact of Howard Stern’s move from terrestrial radio since late 2004.

“By mid-2006, with the ‘Stern effect’ still somewhat present, Bridge Ratings began to see indications that the potential pool of potential Stern listeners was shrinking,” it stated. “Of Stern’s approximately 12 million total weekly audience while on terrestrial radio, Bridge Ratings estimates that even now, about 2 million of them have subscribed to Sirius specifically because of Howard.”

Of those 2 million fans, “We have recently found that while most Sirius subscribers have an average of six satellite radio channels they consistently listen to each week, Stern’s listeners spend most of their time with Sirius (45%) listening to the Stern show and on average only three channels total.”

Bridge thinks 58% of Stern’s “core” terrestrial radio listener base followed him to Sirius. “This is an extreme conversion rate among Stern’s most loyal fans. His core audience composed approximately 25% of his total national terrestrial audience. Using a 2005 national terrestrial audience of 12 million, 3 million listeners represented this heavy listener base ... 1.74 million of them subscribed to hear Stern on Sirius.”

The untapped segment of 1.3 million former heavy listeners “still represents the greatest growth opportunity for Stern,” it found. “While we believe it is unlikely that Stern will attract 100% of this former heavy listener base, it is very likely Sirius and Stern can attract an additional 600,000 of these fans.”

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