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Study: Traffic Reports Boost Listening

Research Director Inc. says traffic reports valuable in PPM world

Traffic reports attract listeners and increase a station’s Arbitron Portable People Meter ratings.

That’s according to Research Director Inc., an Annapolis, Md.-based audience research firm that has completed a study on traffic report audiences for the Canadian Traffic Network.

Research Director Inc. President Charlie Sislen said the results show that “traffic reports are in their own league when it comes to boosting audience. In a PPM world, traffic reports are among the most valuable drivers of listening occasions.”

RDI reviewed traffic reports on 45 stations in all five PPM-measured Canadian markets: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. It compared Average Minute Audience for traffic breaks to Average Minute Audience for the same daypart outside of the traffic breaks.

The highlights of the study showed the three minutes around the traffic report have higher listening levels compared to nontraffic periods; this was true for all five markets and in every demo. Those three minutes cover the minute before, minute of, and minute after each scheduled traffic report.

On average for persons 12+, Canadian Traffic Network reports deliver 16% greater audience than when traffic is not being aired, according to RDI.

Among adults 25–54 and 35–54, traffic reports deliver an ever greater audience (+19%) than nontraffic times, according to the findings.

Canadian Traffic Network President Lannie Atkins said, “As our advertisers know, when traffic comes on the air, consumers reach down and turn up the volume. Validating that the station audience does not leave during traffic, and in fact increases, shows the importance of this vital information that provides our advertisers with an engaged and attentive audience.”

RDI says comparable studies it’s conducted for the past three years for Canadian Traffic network show similar results.

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