89.3 The Current has won worldwide praise for its coverage of the death of Prince and overwhelming response from fans. They also reached a lot of listeners.
Just released Nielsen Audio estimates for May show that The Current broadcast and and streaming audio were heard by an estimated 411,000 weekly cumulative listeners. This is the highest weekly cume ever for The Current. The number of weekly listeners to the broadcast signal was up 26% from April. The station’s streaming audio was up 51%.
According to PD Jim McGuinn, the timing of events was one of the reasons for historic jump in listening:
|Jim McGuinn (Photos courtesy of MPR)|
The week of Prince’s passing (which occurred on a Thursday around noon – first day of a new ratings week), our cume went from a normal weekly number of around 280k all the way to 490k. We changed our programming to feature a chronological career retrospective that day, and followed with a Prince A to Z marathon from the Friday at 6p thru Sat at 11p.
As we reported in May [link], the coverage by The Current was heartfelt, informative and compelling. It is still benefiting the station says McGuinn:
Our web traffic continues at a higher level than before his passing. Anecdotally we definitely made new friends, with hundreds of contributions in the days that followed his passing, arriving from around the world.
We surpassed our drive goals in May significantly, with lots of love for the Prince programming [plus] our 893 Essential Album countdown. It was a unique month, and a testament to following our Programming instincts and responding to audience’s needs in the moment. Much of the share and cume rolled back towards normal in the weeks that followed. [Now] we’ll see what the long term ratings [are] in the months to come.
News of the ratings performance travelled quickly. Consultant Mike Henry (who has worked with The Current in the past) said The Current’s success is an inspiration to all noncom Triple A stations:
The big takeaway for me is that if non-comm Triple A stations are marketed effectively, then there is a higher audience ceiling available. [Rather than] preaching to the same choir over and over, The Current’s marketing is testimony to the audience potential possible to all pubradio Triple A stations.
THE CURRENT IS ALSO NUMBER ONE INSIDE MPR HQ
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has three distinct program services: 89.3 The Current, NPR News KNOW and Classical KSJN. Typically The Current has trailed KNOW in listening. Not in May 2016. For the first time The Current beat KNOW in weekly cumulative listeners, though KNOW had a narrow lead in AQH.
Here is the topline data for all noncom stations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market (changes of more than 10% are highlighted in yellow):
Note the success of Urban Contemporary KMOJ, a gutsy station that is important civic and cultural resource in the market.
WAMU’S WEEKLY LISTENERS JUMPED BY ALMOST 100,000 IN MAY
WAMU’s May estimated weekly listeners reached the highest number in recent memory.
MAY PPM TRENDS FOR OTHER INTERESTING NONCOM MARKETS:
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