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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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Comments

Larry Rosin

Since I published thas article in Radio & Records noting the difference in listening between college grads and non-college grads, I have been rightfully asked the following question: "Has it always been this way?" So I looked at the diary data from the sample of diarykeepers from our longstanding series of studies with Arbitron.

In 1998: Non-College Grads ages 25-54 listened to an average of 102 Quarter-Hours per week

College Grads ages 25-54 listened to an average of 86 Quarter-Hours per week

In 2008: Non-College Grads ages 25-54 listened to an average of 100 Quarter-Hours per week

College Grads ages 25-54 listened to an average of 70 Quarter-Hours per week

In addition, the portion of 25-54s that are College graduates increased from 33% of 25-54s to 41% of 25-54s.

What does this mean? That nearly all the 25-54 losses in TSL over the last decade are coming from college grads. The Non-grads are listening virtually the same amount.

For what it's worth, I also looked at today's 35-64s-- in other words the same cohort of people as the 25-54s were in 1998. And the data showed the same thing -- significant decreases only among the college grads.

Data from Public Radio shows that listening to non-commercial stations has grown significantly during the 1998-2008 era. So indeed, commercial radio is now accounting for significantly less total listening among College Grads than it did in the past.

There are, as I said in the initial article, doubtlessly many explanations for these changes. We will continue to explore them

Bob Bellin

Radio seems to be losing market share to other media that can be more accountable, meaning advances in targeting could make radio more attractive to advertisers. The knowledge that college grads are not as reachable at work as in other times is a negative that could be transformed into a positive if presented correctly – as a solution rather than as a problem.

Sellers, planner and buyers targeting upscale consumers should be configuring media buys differently than they have been, now that they know that college grads listen a lot less at work than their less educated counterparts (whatever the reasons turn out to be).

This may initially present some issues, because typically 10A-3P is the most efficient major daypart and de-emphasizing it will surely raise cost per points in the abstract. But, and this is a big but (I like big buts and I cannot lie) doing so may actually lower CPPs if the target is college grads, rather than just a broad demo.

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