Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Arbitron Rating System Shakes Things Up In Local Radio Market

A recent story in the IBJ took a look at the difference Arbitron's new rating system is making in the local radio market. In the past, ratings participants were required to use a pen-and-paper system to track their listening habits during a ratings period. Arbitron has replaced that antiquated system with a precise measure--portable people meters, which automatically track what radio stations people are listening to. While some stations have seen little change in their ratings, others have seen a dramatic change. As the table above demonstrates, WFMS-FM, a country format station, slightly improved its position as the number one-rated station in the Indianapolis market, capturing over 10% of the market. By comparison, WIBC-FM's news talk format took the biggest hit, losing nearly a quarter of its audience share according to the new ratings system, garnering 5.7% of the local market share compared to the 7.9% share it had under the old system. WYXB-FM, a soft rock station, doubled its position, climbing from the middle of the pack to second place behind WFMS-FM at a 9.6% share. WJJK-FM classic rock's share jumped about 50% to a 7.4% share. Most of the 15 radio stations listed in the table held their own. WTLC-AM, an urban gospel  station that courts a black audience came in 15th place but maintained its market share of 2.3%. WXNT-AM, the other news/talk station in town failed to make the top 15, an indication that the new rating system failed to boost its numbers as at least one of its radio talk show hosts had suggested it would. Because advertisement rates are based on a radio station's market share, the new system will impact the revenues the radio stations earn in the future.

4 comments:

Cato said...

It's embarrassing that Indy doesn't have a Smooth Jazz station and Country is #1.

Country? Indy dares call itself a Northern city?

Indy Student said...

Isn't there another FM talk radio station that airs Hannity and a few others?

spooknp said...

Wonder what Amos will say about this? I have read about this new system, and some radio stations that cater to the black community weren't happy about it. They said their listeners were more likely to be lower income and more likely not to be included in the survey. While WTLC-AM had the same ratings, it appears that 96.3 got clobbered. I have seen it near the top of the charts in the past. For those that don't know, 96.3 is owned by the same parent company as 1430. I believe that a lot of these companies who have low listener, focused stations use the earning power of their more popular sister stations to keep things going. One positive for Radio One is that both 100.9 and 106.6 had higher ratings.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Yes, I.S. 95.9 does.