Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Don't buy the house; buy the neighborhood." Russian proverb

"Those not present are always wrong." Phillipe Destouches

"Originality is nothing but judicious imitation." Voltaire

Today's image: Orange - blue mood by anple. Outstanding. Thank you for sharing.

Too early to tell

Are we witness to some confirmation of a long standing industry conjecture, the Arbitron diary as "ballot"? The pre-currency Chicago numbers suggest a dramatic and significant difference between the numbers Chicago radio star Steve Dahl has been posting in the diary vs his early PPM numbers.

The diary depends on literate behavior, on recall. Those of us involved in gaming the system understand these rules of engagement and have developed practices which encourage the favorable "vote." In the diary world an important role of marketing was to remind, to "aid" recall by suggesting an answer. In some cases the goal was to influence, solicit or direct actual behavior (e.g., Birthday Game, targeting promotions/events on Thursdays).

On the day job we produced a white paper in 2005 Understanding the PPM Exposure Environments - Sense of Place - Single & Social. Our thesis being there were two very different "spaces" subject to PPM exposure, the personal or single space and the social spaces (e.g., the workplace). In my talk at The Conclave that year several suggestions from the paper were shared including placing a higher priority on sense of place and penetration of place.

Chicago media icon Steve Dahl appears to be one of the most recent examples of a performer with a solid track record of delivering consistently strong ratings in the diary data that, suddenly, without explanation, seems to have experienced a major loss of audience according to the pre-currency PPM data.

Could this be a case of ballot vs exposure? What is behind this difference in reported listening (diary) and recorded listening (PPM)? Is it possible that when provided with the opportunity to "vote" for Steve his fans did just that, no matter their actual listening during the survey week? Further, is it possible that Steve's fans are continuing to listen as before but we are now made aware of their "actual" behavior? (It's perhaps more fair to say their "actual exposures")

The sea change here may well be the contrast in the measure of occasions. The diary permitted occasions and the duration of those occasions to be defined by respondent reporting alone. The PPM permits only a passive recording of occasions and time spent per occasion by exposure.

It seems reasonable to suggest this pov: the behavior has not changed only the reporting of behavior. The data capture shifting from the elected/chosen to the heard/exposed. This introduces important issues related to cognition.

To date, the early PPM data from all markets seems to be teaching us a) morning drive is probably less important than middays and PMD. This has major economic implications. b) franchise personalities/programs may benefit from some degree of preference or bias in the diary (i.e., diary voting) that is not clearly as evident or as favorable in the meter. Stations favored in the social space gain practical measurement benefits over those favored only in the single space. Stay tuned, it's too early to tell.

Pack journalism, alive and well: Irrational herd instinct drives estimated 15,000 journalists to cover DNC. The economic pressure on station teams and publishers has never been more intense so why is it that managers are wasting money sending teams to Denver? My sense is those dollars could have and should have been more wisely invested. Don't make me release the flying monkeys. Blame the CEOs, put the guilty news managers on double secret probation. Minnesota Public Radio sending "20 people"? If true, someone in St Paul needs a wake up call. File this one under Serious Errors in Judgment! Bonus bad judgment points if new net rev was not produced to cover related expenses. Cory over at LR has more w/comments here.

A Mutual Thing: Gathering on 9/13 at the Crystal City Hyatt, former MBS staff. Get in touch if you worked for the network, WHN or WCFL. Should be fun. mutualreunion [at] yahoo [dot] com

Bonus: Edison Research Web 2.0 maven Tom Webster shares topline from his NME presentation. Highly recommended....

Don't be convenient.
Be unmissable.
Reward urgency.

Bravos, Tom. Well said. Read Tom's post, Podcasting: The Curse of Convenience, here. Still don't care for the term podcasting. My suggestion is the term is not entering the consumer vocabulary. Why not chase video on demand or audio on demand? Tom makes some excellent points about creating demand for audio offerings. On the day job we are still using the "Disney release" approach and producing favorable results. Just as the motion picture industry makes use of release windows (e.g., first run, second or buck house run, video release, vod release, etc). We continue experimenting with an approach we are calling "Early Extras" where we add first run content that is not available in subsequent runs. A reward to those that tune into the first run. We also refresh and add special little hooks exclusive to second runs and in the best of archive. Think Easter Eggs.

Going deep: Indie rock impresario Bruce Rave favors us with Go Deep, Show 24 now on offer here. Outstanding! Don't miss it if you can.

Congrats & cheers: Google Ad Manager. Very cool. More info here. David Sanborn on his killer new release Here & Gone, an incredible tribute to Hank Crawford, every track is a beauty; tight! Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Joss Stone and Sam Moore came to play. Deb Turner joins DEI as Exec Dir of the CPB initiative Leadership for Philanthropy being staffed by DEI. The dolls and guys of public media get their ning on, DirectCurrent, discussions about public media. Radio ace Jay Mitchell launches a new web design venture, Site For Sore Eyes.

Dept of new cool: Mozilla Labs bows Ubiquity. Loves it! Check out the vid, should it start choppy, standby, it gets much better. This alpha 0.1 experiment is totally cool. [Requires Firefox] Bravos, Aza. Well done.

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

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