Talkers do better with PPM


The latest Coleman Insights study in its “Mapping the DNA of PPM” series finds that spoken word stations on average post higher audience shares under PPM measurement than with diaries. The average so far in 11 PPM markets is a 12% AQH gain.

“People who program, manage or own spoken word-formatted stations are going to like the findings of this study. It shows that these stations garner a bigger audience share than we observed under the previous audience measurement system,” said Coleman Insights Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Jon Coleman.

Coleman Insights analyzed data from 88 spoken word-formatted stations in the 11 markets that have converted from Arbitron’s diary service to its Portable People Meter (PPM) service. That identified an average 12% improvement in average quarter hour audience share under PPM.

Some other findings:

• The increased share of spoken word-formatted stations in PPM is generally higher in morning drive than it is overall.

• All News- and Sports-formatted stations experience the largest reported share increases; the increases for News/Talk-formatted stations are smaller, while Public stations experience a moderate decrease.

• Public stations that air spoken word content on a full-time or near full-time basis experience share improvements, while “hybrid” Public stations that air a mixture of spoken word- and music-based programming fare far worse under PPM than they did under diary measurement.

• Stations airing content with a Conservative lean perform much better under PPM; the audience shares of Progressive stations decline with the introduction of the new measurement system.

• Sports-formatted stations utilizing the ESPN brand experience even larger share improvements than those observed for the Sports format in general.

• The audience shares achieved by the syndicated talk shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are slightly larger than those achieved under diary measurement, but not as large as the overall increase for spoken word radio; the syndicated Mike & Mike show experiences a much larger share increase, which is partly attributable to its airing during morning drive.

Jon Coleman presented the study results Friday at the R&R Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles. The full report is available on the Coleman website,

RBR/TVBR observation: Take that, RIAA and SoundExchange! Who needs your music anyway?