Leigh Jacobs

First in a new monthly research series by NuVoodoo’s Leigh Jacobs

At NuVoodoo, we think station marketing should have a pinpoint focus on those most likely to participate in the ratings, but data from our latest nationwide study of over 3,000 14-54 year-olds, fielded earlier this month, shows those likely ratings participants are becoming a narrower target.

In our latest data, the percentage of radio listeners who predict they and members of their household would jump through all the hoops to be a Nielsen household drops five points, from 22% in our Q3 2023 study to 17% now. That’s among a sample who’ve completed an online interview and shows the uphill battle Nielsen faces with precious respondents.

These results are from the 24th in our series of twice-annual Ratings Prospects Studies. We believe data-based decisions are better decisions, so we regularly share key findings with all broadcasters – not just our customers. It's our way of giving back to a business we love and a future we're very much invested in helping preserve.

In the weeks ahead we’ll be sharing the latest results – first with clients and then more widely across the industry. While we track results on some points we’ve asked before, first party data is a major focus of this new study. We’ll be showing the most powerful tactics to establish and build first-party relationships among radio listeners, format partisans, and those likely to participate in the ratings.

As with our study in Q3 2023, too many bad songs remain a reason many respondents say they change stations – slightly worse than commercial breaks in general. But we found a new worst tune-out trigger when we added a prompt about commercial breaks that go on too long: nearly half our sample of radio listeners and about 3 in 5 among those likely to participate in the ratings (labeled “RPS Yes” in the table) selected this reason.

You may not have an impact on the placement or length of commercial breaks. However, with the right tools, programmers can help talent and can avoid playing bad songs. For music radio, getting everything just right is incredibly important. It’s hard enough to get a playlist right for one person, but radio does it for thousands of people.

Leigh Jacobs is Executive VP of Research Analysis at NuVoodoo, which helps a wide range of businesses achieve their marketing, research, and digital goals. Its mantra is that research should focus on the population most likely to help give clients a ratings lift while not becoming so restrictive that a station loses rank when panelists or diarykeepers change. Information about its webinar series is available HERE.