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.
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.