NO DECISION ON THE FUTURE OF KUSP
The Board of Directors of KUSP, Santa Cruz, met on Monday 7/13 but did not reach a decision regarding a path forward for the nearly bankrupt station. According to press reports and one person in the room, there was a very heated discussion but no resolution of the financial and programming issues.
The most vocal voices during the meeting were representatives of Forward KUSP led by a disgruntled former station employee. Forward KUSP wants KUSP to become sort of like a cable TV public access channel. You can read about their plan at [link].
Apparently not satisfied with the Board’s skepticism about Forward KUSP’s plan, one participant (quoted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel) wanted an even more heated debate:
“I think there’s a few people who have really worked hard on this, but the board has not had a good knockout discussion on how each of us feel.”
Feelings are important but they don’t pay the bills. The biggest unanswered question after the meeting was how long KUSP can keep operating before it runs out of money. Meanwhile, the Board talked about bringing in a consultant to provide fresh perspective.
NIELSEN AUDIO TO ADDRESS VOLTAIR CONCERNS NEXT WEEK
The trade publication Radio Ink [link] reports that Nielsen will conduct a webinar on Tuesday, July 21 at 1:00pm ET to present their Voltair Testing Update.
Nielsen says it has been testing the impact of Voltair for six months. Some industry observers believe Voltair enhances a radio station’s PPM digital watermark so Nielsen Audio’s PPM device doesn’t miss it. Of course, this brings up the bigger question: Why is PPM not picking up the encoded signals in the first place.
[Radio Ink has a very helpful YouTube video about Voltair. See it at [link].
A TIMELY QUESTION FROM A SPARK! READER
Daniel Costello asked: Has anyone studied whether audience numbers have become more volatile with PPM relative to diaries?
I’ve wondered the same thing. If someone knows of such a study, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big reason is the difference in methodology from the older Diary Method that Nielsen Audio still uses in medium and smaller markets.
Diary data comes from respondent entries in a daily log of stations they’ve heard. PPM data comes from devices carried by the respondent that sense the digital watermark embedded in station signals and streaming audio. Voltair claims to enhance the robustness of the watermark.
Robustness matters in the real world. Imagine you have a PPM meter and you enter a store where the background music is from a radio station. It is noisy in the store and you really aren’t paying attention to the ambient sound. Will your PPM meter detect the station’s watermark even if you aren’t listening to the station? That is why Voltair was invented.