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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Phil Wilson

PPM is bringing to light a conundrum that has existed in radio for years...offense vs. defense, acquiring listeners vs. keeping listeners. Look, there are plenty of woes that we talk about in radio today and many can be traced to being timid about going on the offense. Of course, there's a time and a place for hanging back and protecting what is yours. There is also the time to hit the line and start acquiring turf.

In light of so much technology that provides choice and control, radio must take advantage of opportunities to grow it's audience not just protect it. When the mic is open, there is risk. But, there can also be reward.

You're right on the money in "striking a balance" but the bottom line is that your radio station has a much better chance of building a lasting audience if you program to them...not to the PPM.

Mark Ramsey

Thanks for this mention, Fred!

I should note that, in that chart in WMMR's case, listeners are as likely to roll during music as during an open mic. WMMR is obviously doing something right, and it has to do with expectation and execution, not with "shutting up and playing the hits."

There's a lesson there.

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