Rock On: PPM shines on rock radio.
Since PPM first appeared on the scene the numbers have showed electronic measurement has been good to rock stations. As more stations have converted from the diary, that continues to hold true. Not just among young demos, but also with the key advertiser-friendly 25-54 target.
Because it’s fragmented into assorted sub-formats over the past several decades, rock’s overall ratings success is often overlooked in a PPM world, where AC and CHR frequently hog the headlines. But an Arbitron PPM analysis of top-ranked formats shows a surprisingly strong finish for rock. It had the second largest number of stations (9) that ranked first in persons 25-54 from January-March in the 33 markets where the PPM has been commercialized. That includes the various subsets of the format, such as classic rock (two #1s), classic hits (four), active rock (two) and AOR (one).
AC had the most top guns — 12 total — 11 ACs and one hot AC. Pop CHR was third with three top-ranked stations. Rock formats also scored well when Arbitron looked at the top three stations in persons 25-54 in each of the PPM markets and plotted them into four groups based on appeal (daily cume) and passion (daily TSL).
AOR, triple A, alternative, classic hits, sports, active rock and AC landed in what Arbitron SVP of marketing Bill Rose terms the “happy land” of ratings: high cume and high TSL. Put another way, those formats exhibit both broad appeal and more passion. The second grouping, high cume but lower TSL (or broad appeal but less passion), includes CHR, hot AC, news and country. Highly-targeted formats with high passion placed in the third segment (low cume, high TSL) such as regional Mexican, urban AC, news/talk, Spanish hits and urban contemporary. The fourth group, low cume and low TSL (or lighter appeal and low passion), includes talk/personality, oldies and rhythmic AC. The results are part of a larger, forthcoming Arbitron study that identifies the common characteristics of top-performing PPM stations.
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