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Beating the Pureplays on a Level Playing Field

August 14, 2018

For years the Pureplays, especially Pandora, have made claims that they are bigger than radio stations in their market. The problem was Pandora was comparing their internal data manipulated to look like Nielsen, to the Nielsen data broadcasters use every day.

We understand that the Pureplays sell on impressions while radio stations sell on GRPs. Therefore this is a positioning issue and not a pricing issue. But a comparison to position your radio station better than the Pureplays has always been important.

The best source for this has been Scarborough, where one can compare the Pureplays reach to that of an individual station or a radio cluster. Until recently there was a flaw with this exercise. Scarborough reported monthly reach of the Pureplays while radio stations were reported as a weekly reach. This gave the Pureplays an unfair advantage, as cume grows over time. Therefore, with all other things being equal, a monthly cume will be bigger than a weekly cume.

This discrepancy has changed and has leveled the playing field. The recent Scarborough release not only reports the monthly reach of the Pureplays, but now also includes a weekly reach. While we are still working with weekly cume, and therefore TSL is not taken into account, the Pureplays need to compete with radio on a level playing field. However, one can now look at the weekly reach of the Pureplays and compare it to the weekly reach of individual radio stations or a radio cluster.

While neither outlet sells with cume, an advertiser’s message cannot be acted upon if it is not heard. Cume offers a glimpse of the potential.

Besides looking at demographics, this change in Scarborough allows users to look at specific qualitative categories. Tapscan’s cross-tab report allows the user to compare the Pureplays with radio stations for endless advertising categories.

To be fair, Pandora is strong and will occasionally outperform individual radio stations. However, the new Scarborough data allows for a level playing field for both demographic and many advertising categories.

Need to learn more, feel free to contact us at info@ResearchDirectorInc.com.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner

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