We are introducing a new metric today. We call it the Home Market Listening Index because it traces the percentage of a station’s estimateD weekly listeners that come from the home metro.
Operating a station in the shadows of a major market is typically difficult because big market broadcasters often have greater resources than suburban and exurban broadcasters. However, smaller market stations have the advantage of concentrating on a local area.
Do these factors affect listening habits? It depends of the individuals and appeal of each station.
Today’s debut case study concerns what I call the 101 North markets just north and west of Los Angeles: Oxnard-Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
Each of the three metro areas has distinct differences. But, they all have one thing in common: They compete with much bigger stations from LA via repeater and translator stations,
Another factor they all have in common is the Pacific Coast Highway, US 101. This freeway provides quick access in and out of LA. On the right is a map provided by KCLU that shows the three markets and their contiguous location.
TREND LINE: LOS ANGELES NONCOMMERCIAL STATIONS ARE GETTING A LARGER NUMBER OF SUBURBAN LISTENERS
According to the Nielsen Audio Fall 2017 ratings, listeners appear to be listening more to LA noncommercial stations and less to local folks.
(METHODOLOGY: We add up the estimated weekly listeners for all of the rated stations. Then, we divide them into two groups: Home market stations and Out-of-Market stations.)
As the chart on the left shows, there is a 4% decline in weekly listeners between Fall 2016 and 2017. Weekly listeners in all three markets are switching to LA stations.
Let’s look at the individual markets”
This market is the closest to LA and has the largest population. The percentage of weekly listeners to Home market stations declined 9% between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017.
As we move farther from LA, listening to home market stations increasess bu the trend is slightly towards LA stations.
SAN LUIS OBISPO
San Luis is the farthest of the three markets from LA. Even here the trend line is moving towards LA stations,
NONCOM RATINGS FOR ALL THREE MARKETS