Today: Here’s Why The 6 Plus Radio Rankings Really Don’t Matter

I’ll give you the correct, accurate, important radio ratings and rankings shortly…

In the meantime allow me to explain why the publically published ratings for listeners ages 6 and older, Monday thru Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight are unimportant. Misleading even. Those are the ratings Arbitron releases to the public and media largely for PR purposes.

They’re free-to-good-home, unlike the key ratings ad agencies and stations pay thousands of dollars to obtain.

If all Arbitron had to offer were the 6-plus numbers, it would be out of business.

The ratings that matter measure key listening hours and specific demographics important to stations and advertisers. And the timeslots where the most listenership and revenues are attained are on weekdays between 6 a.m. (morning drive) and 7 p.m. (afternoon drive). 

Far fewer listeners tune in outside of those hours, with few exceptions.

What’s more, the 6-plus ratings actually distort the real radio ratings and rankings.

Here’s how…

Ninety percent of most station’s revenues and listeners are concentrated in those weekday timeslots, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. That makes for a 65 hour a week sweet spot. That’s where you’ll find the stations top air talent. They don’t pay big bucks to have people hang out at night and on weekends when listeners aren’t listening.

Why would they?

During night and weekend hours, stations tighten their belts and make due with parttime air talent, infomercials and fill in (often syndicated) shows. Shows that generate income and/or keep things on the cheap while business is slow.

Thus averaging in listeners on nights and weekends in a 6 and older demo only serves to muddy the real ratings picture.

Because adding an additional 61 hours of nights and weekends dillutes the key ratings by 93 percent.

Anybody think NewsRadio KMBZ’s night and weekend, paid home repair and male sex performance infomercials are important to the station’s core weekday listeners and advertisers?

Those off hours shows can be very profitable from a revenue standpoint, but mostly they’re inexpensive ways of filling time without increasing overhead.

Only in the case of 610 Sports and KCFX FM – with night and/or weekend Royals and Chiefs games – do those off hours truly matter. And even then, mainly to sponsers, advertisers and listeners of those specific games.

That’s why when 610 Sports up and comer Nick Wright appeared to best WHB strongman Kevin Kietzman earlier this year – because of overlaps of his day part with Royals games or pre game shows – WHB cried foul.

Make no mistake, Wright’s well on his way to giving Kietzman a run for his money. In spite of backlash from the soon-to-be-seniors set. However, the real ratings test will go down after the Royals are interred this fall and it’s a straight up, head-to-head contest.

To that end, KC Confidential will provide and report only key weekday ratings and explain how stations are doing in their specific target demos, usually adults, men or women ages 25 to 54.

The bottom line:

Don’t believe blogger’s grand pronouncements about which station won or didn’t based on those misleading  6-plus ratings.

You’re getting what they paid for those numbers – nothing.
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11 Responses to Today: Here’s Why The 6 Plus Radio Rankings Really Don’t Matter

  1. smartman says:

    The Real Demos
    Let me save you some time. Douchebags listen to Kevin Keitzman. Bigger douchebags listen to Nick Wright. The BIGGEST DOUCHEBAGS listen to Shanin and Parks.

    Fact remains that over the past decade companies overall dollars dedicated to radio have declined.
    When you back out the dollars spent on nationally syndicated radio programs and just focus on local market spend it’s abysmal.

    The AM and FM suits aren’t doing much better then their dead tree counterparts.

    Getting ready for the big drinking game tomorrow. Listening to the Chiefs post game call in shows. Take a shot anytime a caller says, uh, umm, I mean, ya’ know or OK.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    The Last DJ
    Hell smartman, we won’t make to the first commercial break!

    With the consolidation of the music business we see the whole thing controlled from boardrooms where they own the artists, the labels radio stations as well as the concert venues.

    Cowboy Jack Clements wrote a list of things songwriters should know. The first three apply to the radio/tv/entertainment business

    Remember that experts are often wrong.
    Experts tend to be narrow and opinionated.
    Experts don’t buy records.

    Even old geezers like me seldom listen to the radio anymore. KMBZ News Radio? Maybe two, three hours a day. 810 & 610 are hard to listen to anytime. Shanin & Parks? Aren’t they the guys in the balcony on The Muppets?

    Radio was once this wonderful thing you listened to with the covers pulled over your head. Listening to music from far away places and artists which WHB would never play. Now they are all owned by the same few companies and there is nothing new or fresh to be found.

    Not sure there is any relevance in the ratings unless you are an investor or an employee. Insider stuff.

    I can’t imagine a radio station such as KAAY or WMMR (in their prime) would even get an opportunity today.

  3. kansas karl says:

    radio still shines
    Stations like KAAY and WMMR in thier prime do exist, you just have to move your music tastes to this century. KTBG in Warrensburg has won R&R’s AAA station of the year, if you listen on line the universe is wide open, hell there are over a thousand radio stations, some web, a good number broadcast from the lower end of the dial, that play music that pushes the edge. Pandora, Accuradio, and dozens of others are out there, you just have to let REOJOURNEYSTIXLEPPORD go.

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    @kansas karl
    I was reflecting on broadcast stations, listening to the radio late at night on your AM. As you state the computer makes the broadcast radio obsolete. It is also why there is more and better music available. But finding it is can harder than ever. Maybe impossible if you are going through the ratings winners.

    And while a few stations today reflect what was going on in those days gone past, please remember those stations were pioneers on a number of fronts.

    WMMR was one of only three radio stations in the USA which did not have a playlist. Except for community radio I don’t think you will find it today.

    KAAY, we’d wait for the sun to set and for them to crank up the power. Often we would tune in just before Beaker Street started. It was then I first heard GARNER TED ARMSTRONG BRINGS YOU THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORLD TOMORROW. Talk about mixed messages!

    I moved my tastes to this century a long time ago but I’ve got old friends in the past. REOJOURNEYSTIXLEPPORD was never on my turntable or radio dial.

  5. chuck says:

    Nick is Barlow’s doppelganger.

    Seriously, google Barlow the vampire and look at images.


    I ain’t George fuckin Clooney or nuttin, but for chrissakes, if I’m Nick Wright and that picture is all over the internet, I am breakin the fucker who took it on the wheel.

    Whaddya think the baby pics look like?

    I ain’t mad at Nick really, but he is the living testament to the phrase, “Gotta face for radio”.

    DELIVERY ROOM DOCTOR: “Sorry, Mrs. Wright, we did every thing we could, but, he lived.”

  6. randy raley says:

    drunk on saturday night
    Was in your fair city on Thursday and saw one hell of a Los Lobos show on Friday night. Damn, them old fuggers can play.. Still in love with KC. I have no dog in the hunt, don’t know anyone, but I listened to the “vaunted radio war” betwenn Nick Wright and Kevin Keitzman.
    I guess I’m out of Nick Wrights demo, cause I don’t get it. Wasn’t blown away by KK either. Don’t get the hype I guess. We used to do our shows, shut the hell up and let the audience decide. It’s all about chest puffing I guess now. Locally, don’t know how you can top the Bridge. Jon has done a marvelous job turning that frequency on. He’s a testament to what hard work can do. In markets across the country(just like in KC), FM music stations are being turned into “talkers” and music fans have fewer options. That where the internet stations are vying for an audience. Tired of the same old shit? is my little “train set” internet station run out of my office. Everything from Bread to Black Sabbath and John Prine to Alice Cooper. It’s easy to pull it up with your microsoft media player or go to your itunes radio option then classic rock>planet radio. And for those of you wondering, the most common description of the station is how close we resemble KAAY. Rock on. Kids, it’s a new frontier. And get off my lawn.

  7. randy raley says:

    drunker on a saturday night
    Currently Playing on PlanetRadio.US
    Genesis – Robbery, Assault and Battery (06:08)
    Coming Up Next
    Procol Harum – Quite Rightly So
    Elton John – Have Mercy on the Criminal

    Previously Played
    Aerosmith – Train Kept A Rollin’
    Cream (BBC Sessions) – Outside Woman Blues
    Spanky and Our Gang – I’d Like To Get To Know You
    Darden Smith – Fall Apart At the Seams
    Rush – Closer to the Heart

    The new frontier?
    OK, toodles and good night.
    Remember that web site

  8. smartman says:

    @Randy Raley
    Hey Randy Love what your doin’. Thanks for keepin’ the vibe alive and many more thanks for the memories of your work in KC.

    When you get to them Pearly Gates I have a feeling Jesus is punchin’ your ticket and you’re goin’ straight to DRIVE TIME!

    Keep the Faith Brother!

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    That’s cold…

  10. Bad Ass jew, Berkowitz says:

    Like Nick, But It’s Kevin
    Hearne I agree with that over 6 b.s. Kevin is stil sports guy, not so fast Nick.

  11. Dear Douchbag says:

    I could waste my time correcting you on share vs cume and the fact that different stations actually target different demos and therefore comparing them all on 25-54 is wrong…….. but you would simply remove my post because you don’t like being corrected and you are arrogant .

Comments are closed.