I don’t need to tell you how expensive Arbitron’s PPM is, but it may be worth thinking about what those costs are costing you.
Almost every station I’ve worked with, in every size market in America, has been forced to cut muscle from their budgets in order to pay the ever-increasing costs of a ratings service that has no interest in helping radio make money.
It’s one thing to stop doing perceptual research annually, and quite another to stop doing music research.
It’s one thing to voice-track overnights, and quite another to cut midday and evening talent to pay for your ratings.
We no longer market our stations.
We don’t promote our stations except through client tie-ins provided as value-added blather, which has nothing to do with supporting our brand image.
When you’re paying this much money for something, shouldn’t it help you dramatically increase your bottom line?
By showing compressed listening, isn’t Arbitron helping the lowest priced station in every market? Isn’t that why we can’t grow our share of advertising revenue?
Too many stations in every market, each blaming the others for cutting rates, a relentless race to the bottom.
How has “cheapest” worked for the airline industry?
Can you assess, in absolute numbers, the added revenue your station produces because of Arbitron?
If you spent that $600,000 or $1,000,000 — or whatever Arbitron’s fee is for your station — on talent, real talent, and marketing, would you show a bigger return on your investment?
Isn’t it part of your job to think about that?