|Afternoon traffic on the 405 in Los Angeles|
For years weekday “morning drive” has been considered the “sweet spot” for radio listening. Commercial and public radio stations have spent considerable resources to reach listeners in the 6am to 10am day-part. New analysis of Nielsen Audio PPM data is bringing this assumption into question.
According to report published by the Radio Research Consortium called Fish Where the Fish Are, weekday afternoons are now the day-part when the most people are listening to radio. You can download the report here.
For many years Monday through Friday 7am-8am was assumed to be the hour when radio listening reached its high point. But things have changed.
The chart on the right shows the days and hours when the most people are now “hearing” radio. Weekdays 7am-8am is now number seven trailing each of the six hours on Weekdays from Noon through the 5pm hour.
Weekday evening hours tend to have fewer and fewer available listeners as the time gets later. At Midnight only 1.2% of the population is listening to radio.
|Nielsen's explanation of PUMM|
Readers may have noticed a new name for the metric that for years was known as Persons Using Radio (“PUR”). Nielsen is now calling it Persons Using Measured Media (“PUMM”). PUMM still mainly reflects over-the-air radio listening, but adds listening to online streaming audio.
Keep in mind that PUMM numbers reflect "real time" listening, not on on-demand behavior. PUMM does not include listening to satellite radio. Also not included in PUMM is listening to “pure play” online streaming audio sites such as Pandora. The data is not broken out by format or geography, which would be nice to know.
TARGETING WEEKEND LISTENERS
On weekends some hours and day-parts have lots of lots of people listening to the radio but during most hours the PUMM drops significantly.
The weekend hour when the most listening occurs is Saturday Noon to 1pm.
In fact, radio listening remains strong during the entire Saturday 10am-5pm.
But after the Saturday 5pm-6pm hour, the percentage of people listening to radio drops quickly with each passing hour.
During the 7pm hour it falls to 5.4%; during the 8pm hour it dips to 4.3%; and, by 9pm only 3.5% of the available population is using radio.
The Saturday evening numbers show the perils of expensive programming during the day-part.
For many years, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion (APHC) defied gravity by out-perming the percentage of listeners who are available.
But as APHC has faded in history, listening on Saturday evenings has dropped because there are fewer people with radios “on.”
On Sunday there are even fewer hours when a large potion of the population is using radio.
The hours between Noon and 3pm are the only times with higher numbers of PUMM.
On Sunday morning 6am-7am, only 1.4% of the population is listening to radio.
This information is important for programmers because they help provide realistic expectations.
A program scheduled on Sunday evening may be a terrific sounding show, but the odds of many people hearing it are quite low.
NIELSEN AUDIO APRIL 2019 PPM RATINGS FOR SEATTLE & PORTLAND
KUOW lost average-quarter-hour (AQH) share in April, compared March, but it remains the top radio news source in Seattle-Tacoma.
Commercial News/Talk KIRO-FM continues to lag behind KUOW and Sinclair’s commercial all-news KOMO. Look for fine-tuning at KIRO soon if this trend continues.
Listening to dual format (NPR News & Jazz) KNKX is staying strong.
The biggest noncommercial movers in the April “book” were Classical music KING and AAA music KEXP.
KING’s estimated weekly listeners were up 24% compared to March plus the AQH share was up.
KEXP almost doubled its AQH share and weekly listeners were up over 12% compared to the March PPM data.
NPR News/Talk KOPB had another terrific month.
Their AQH share was up for 7.7% in March to 8.5% in April.
In the news race, no other station is even close to KOPB.
Commercial Talk station KUFO-AM – a/k/a Freedom 970 – doubled it AQH share after returning Bill O’Reilly to the line-up. Remember him?
Classical KQAC’s AQH share dropped a point in April compared with March.
Jazz KMHD lost quite a few estimated weekly listeners but the AQH share remained stable.