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Treat Weekends as Primetime

August 4, 2020

Over the last several months, because of lifestyle changes, radio listening has shifted. Across many markets, weekend listening has returned at a faster rate than weekday listening. This offers great opportunities for both programmers and sales people.

For decades, many programmers have focused their resources on Mon-Fri 6a-7p. They took the Hippocratic oath when it comes to weekends, “do no harm.” However, many stations are seeing higher AQH persons and, more importantly, market listening, Sat-Sun 10a-7p.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you know if your station/market follows this trend?
  • If your target demo is listening to radio during this time period, what are you doing to make sure they are listening to you?
  • Does your weekend talent have the same focus and resources as your primetime talent?
  • Are you sure you are giving your listeners what they want on the weekends?

It is rarely noticed, but most stations have a higher cume on the weekend than any of the three prime dayparts. In other words, most stations have more listeners on the weekends than they do in AM Drive. That is a huge programming opportunity.

Recycling these weekend listeners back to weekdays is extremely valuable, but does not occur without a focused effort. The simple strategy is to build Sunday promos that focus on Monday. Give those Sunday listeners a reason to come back the following day.

Weekends have stronger-than-expected listening and most stations have a healthy cume. With the right focus and strategy, these two factors can result in higher total week and weekday shares.

As far as sales, radio sales people need to stop using weekends as a time period to bonus to bring in Mon-Fri 6a-7p. Look at your weekends hour-by-hour. In many markets, there are often weekend hours that deliver more listeners than any Mon-Fri time period.

More important is the fact that so much commerce is occurring during the weekends. PPM data has shown that, in many markets, weekend away-from-home listening is returning at a faster rate than the Mon-Fri time periods. Consumers are out and about, listening to the radio … and buying products. Isn’t this worth a premium to any advertiser who wishes to reach consumers close to their purchasing decision time?

Whether it is programming or sales, radio people who wish to be successful need to focus on weekends. They offer tremendous upside for both ratings and revenue. Don’t miss out.

We can help you formulate strategies for both driving listeners from weekends to weekdays, and for showing clients the value of advertising on the weekend. You can reach us here.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner

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