Coleman Insights has found that programming features on music radio stations contribute more to long-term brand development than to instantaneous audience building. That’s a key conclusion of research in Philadelphia, comparing PPM data to listener evaluations obtained via telephone.
“What Happens When Features Come On” is the title of the research piece. Coleman Insights analyzed the performances of 15 programming features that ran on Philadelphia music stations, based on audience data from Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) service. In addition, Coleman Insights compared these PPM-based results with listener evaluations of these same features collected in a 600-person, telephone-based perceptual study.
“What our findings are telling us is that stations should view features as tools for building their brands and developing their personalities and not as something that will give them an immediately bump in PPM-based listening levels,” said Coleman Insights president Jon Coleman. “When a feature truly succeeds, the audience growth happens over weeks and months and cannot usually be seen in a single airing,” he added.
Indeed, the study found that audiences were frequently lower for features than for the non-feature content immediately preceding them. Well-known features did better than those with less familiarity to the audience. The Coleman Insights study found that music features did generally better than talk features, but that was not universal.
The full report is available for download at www.colemanInsights.com.