Unemployed announcer cries about PPM

Sid Schweiger sid@wrko.com
Wed Dec 9 20:25:03 EST 2009

"Steve Dahl blames the PPM system for the 'end' of local radio. He has some valid points.


People were pronouncing local radio "doomed" long before PPM had anything to do with it, and Dahl provided, probably without meaning to, one of the reasons why.  Diaries measure recall (and provide several types of opportunitues to game the system) whereas PPMs measure exposure (with virtually no way to game the system other than to change one's usual daily habits, and several types of, for lack of a better term, error correction so that the system really can't be gamed to any significant degree).  Maybe his audience wasn't all that large to begin with, and he got lucky with the market's diary placements.  He claims the PPM results favor music, sports and news stations...exactly the types of stations played in places diary keepers tended to overlook, like doctor's offices, reception areas, bars, etc.

Bottom line, of course, is that neither system measures what programmers, sales types and advertisers would really like to know:  Who is listening and actually paying attention to the station?  The person who figures out how to measure that will be rich beyond his/her wildest dreams.  Cybernetic brain implants?

Sid Schweiger
IT Manager, Entercom New England
20 Guest St / 3d Floor
Brighton MA  02135-2040

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