Do TV Ads for Radio Stations Work?

The consistently excellent Edison Media Research have just completed a study of TV advertising for radio stations.

In many US markets radio ratings figures are calculated using PPMs – pager-type devices that record audio heard. This gives more granular ratings data based on actual consumption. It’s also something that’s turned round quicker than the usual diary methodology and provides per minute data.

What Edison have cleverly done is encode, in the same system, the TV ads advertising radio stations. That way they can use the same panel who are being measured for listening to the radio and also measure whether them seeing a TV ad has prompted them to listen to the specific radio station advertised.

The presentation’s below (and probably won’t embed email/RSS readers!) but they key finding seems to be that TV doesn’t do a great job for encouraging people to tune in for the first time, but does a good job of making moderate listeners listen more.

Listeners to The Revolution

So, farewell failing local indie station The Rev and hello Penky’s AC Revolution.

Yes, the ‘star’ of TV’s Naughtiest Blunders has decided to buy himself a radio station – Oldham’s The Revolution. Well, it’s one way to guarantee yourself a breakfast show…

RadioToday picked up on his ‘rant’ this morning telling indie-loving listeners (ie all the people who used to listen to the station) to disappear off to XFM if they want that sort of music. Nice.

I thought it might be good to have a listen to the station this afternoon (4.20 to 5pm) to see what they were doing and I thought i’d share it.

Song: Rocking All Over the World – Status Quo
Link: Quite long DJ chatter
Feature: ‘Schools Out’ where a listener picks a song from their school days. Good way to contextualise an 80s tune, also good that they mentioned Grange Hill being axed.
Song: Terrence Trent D’Arby – Wishing Well
Sponsored Time Check
Production: Revolution ‘Home of Steve Penk Breakfast Show’
News Break
Production: Sponsored Drive
Song: Adele – Chasing Pavements
Link: Solicit for travel information
Song: Blur – Girls and Boys
Link – Oldham Football Mention
Ad Break
Production: ‘All Your Favourite Songs’
Song: Alphabeat – Boyfriend
Link: Travel news (presenter read) mainly covering Central Manchester (Deansgate, Oxford Road etc)
Ad break
Production: Revolution ‘Home of Steve Penk Breakfast Show’
Song: Chris Brown – With You
Link: Promoting the Breakfast Show
Ad break
News: 5pm Bulletin

I thought the music was a bit odd, putting two oldies back to back at the beginning of the monitor and then the following tunes all being relatively recent. I was also surprised that there were no music sweeps at all, it was always song-link. The links were also all relatively long ones – the schools days feature had a long intro and then quite a rambly chat with the presenter. I thought the news and information elements were good, with a solid local focus, though the traffic bulletin was mostly central Manchester.

Relaunching any station is difficult and the ‘first day’ is always a bit mean to critique. However, i’m sure the ‘Penky’ coverage would have generated quite a few people tuning in or re-tuning in for the first time, so it’s important that the station can really demonstrate its essence through everything it does.

I would have really pushed the music elements, even in a content heavy show like Drive and probably dropped features for a couple of weeks, they really need to concentrate on demonstrating The Revolution’s new music policy and have some music sweeps and music-demonstrator production on the air. The other thing they’ve got is of course Steve who has a large amount of heritage in the market – this was promoted well through the programme without it being rammed down your throat – though it would have been good to hear a bit from the show.