One of the most-talked about sessions at last month's NAB Convention was the presentation of research study, conducted by Jon Coleman's company, based on actual PPM data from Houston. In an attempt to answer some of the "Holy Grail" questions about commercial tolerance and tune-out, Coleman and Arbitron put together a thought-provoking presentation that shows that there's less punching around than once thought.
Some have interpreted the results of this study as carte blanche to add more commercials. If listeners really aren't tuning out all that much, and spot #5 in a 6-spot cluster doesn't lead to much more listening erosion, what difference does it make?
But perception is reality, and if you surveyed the millions of consumers who have bought iPods, subscribed to satellite radio, and/or listen to Internet radio stations, a main motivator is commercial radio's addiction to running too many commercials.
In an effort to add some clarity and interpretation to this survey, Saga's Steve Goldstein and I have put together a simple analysis that hopefully answers some key questions. It might also serve as a jumping off point toward more discussions and debate. PPM is going to generate more of these reports that rock our diary world. We welcome the data, but also feel a strong need to understand it thoroughly, before jumping to programming conclusions.
Please read over our report, and we look forward to hearing from you.