Thursday, January 10, 2008

PPM and Public Radio Pledge Drives

Earlier today, John Sutton & Associates and Paragon Media Strategies presented the first study on public radio pledge drives using Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) data. The presentation was organized by DEI and presented with the help of the Radio Research Consortium. We'll provide a link to the presentation as soon at it is on-line.

It's early in the PPM game. We expect that some of what we're learning now will change or evolve as we analyze more pledge drives in more markets. This study analyzed Fall pledge drives in Houston, Philadelphia, and New York. Here are some of the highlights:

- AQH (Average Quarter-Hour) audiences during the drive went down as much as 36% compared to the three weeks leading up to the drive. AQH dropped because Daily Cume and Daily time spent listening dropped. Weekly Cume was affected at some stations but not others.

- AQH went up 3.7% during the pledge drive at KUHF in Houston. This was different from audience response to KUHF's Spring 2007 drive, when AQH went down 16%. KUHF made many strategic changes between Spring and Fall, including moving pledge drive producing responsibilities from the Development department to the Programming department. It is too soon to determine cause and effect, if that can even be done, but we plan to research this impressive result further.

- Audience recovery after pledge drives was quick. AQH audiences returned to pre-drive levels or higher at most of the stations almost immediately after the drives ended.

There's much more in the presentation. And we'll post additional findings and insights on the blog.

Questions? Feel free to write me, john@radiosutton.com

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Here's the link to slides from our first study on PPM and Public Radio Ratings. It's at paragonmediastrategies.com

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