Thursday, September 15, 2016


Classical Music folks will gather next week the PRPD Content Conference happens in Phoenix. We have reported several times recently about the state of Classical radio listening and the work of Classical Music Rising [link]. For the convenience of attendees we are republishing the most recent Nielsen Audio weekly cumulative listeners for PPM and Diary markets. (Keep in mind that not all stations subscribe to the Nielsen ratings and are not included in published results.)

If you are attending the PRPD, there are several sessions of interest to Classical music folks:

• Creating a Digital Dashboard – Measuring Success for Music Stations
Tuesday (9/20) 11:15am – 12:15pm

Matt Abramovitz
Matt Abramovitz, PD of WQXR, New York moderates a panel focusing on how music stations are defining success in the world of sites, streams, podcasts and video. Samples and best practices will be featured during the discussion.

• It’s Not as Easy as It Sounds
Wednesday (9/21) 3:30pm – 4:30pm

This session features two programmers – Julie Amacher, PD of Classical 24 and Jim McQuinn, PD of 89.3 The Current – discuss finding, coaching and evaluating on-air talent. Both PDs have extensive experience dealing with talent including the development of unique personalities and tips to keep listeners in mind. I bet the topic of heritage hosts comes up during the this session.

• Classical Radio Marketing & Branding
Wednesday (9/21) 10:45am – 11:45am  

Several folks working with SRG’s Classical Music Rising initiative [link] discuss campaigns that are building audiences and boosting ratings. The session will provide examples clear branding and positioning.
The panel moderator is Wende Persons, Managing Director of Classical Music Rising. Panels include Frank Dominguez from WDAV in Charlotte; Bill Lueth, manager of KDFC in San Francisco; Jack Allen from All Classical Portland; Daniel Gilliam from WUOL in Louisville; and Scott Williams from KBAQ in Phoenix.

• Classical Format Group Meeting
Wednesday (9/21) 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Matt Abramovitz from WQXR and Bill Lueth from KDFC moderate discussions about the Classical music on the radio and companion digital platforms.


Comparing June 2015 & June 2016:

• Full-time music in PPM markets: 63% increased weekly listeners; 37% declined

• Dual format in PPM markets: 50% increased weekly listeners; 50% declined

Comparing Spring 2015 & Spring 2016:

• Full-time music in DIARY markets: 72% increased weekly listeners; 28% declined

• Dual format in DIARY markets: 67% increased weekly listeners; 33% declined

First lets look at full-time Classical music stations in PPM markets and compare their estimated number of weekly listeners in June 2015 and June 2016. Of the 24 in-tab full-time music stations we are tracking, 15 stations (63%) had an increased number of weekly listeners; 9 stations (37%) saw declines.

Next lets look at 6 dual format stations airing Classical music and NPR News. Half (50%) increased their number of estimated weekly listeners and the other half had a declining number of weekly listeners.

We also track two commercial Classical stations operated by non-profit organizations.

Now the Nielsen Audio Diary markets where we have divided stations into two groups: Full-time Classical music and Dual Format Classical and NPR News. We are comparing estimates from Spring 2015 and Spring 2015. Of the 25 full-time music stations we are tracking, 18 stations (72%) increased weekly listeners and 7 stations saw (28%) declines during the past year. 

Last here are ratings for 18 dual format stations airing Classical music and NPR News. Twelve in-tab dual format stations (67%) increased the number of weekly listeners and 6 (33%) stations had fewer weekly listeners than they did in Spring 2015.


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