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Don’t Sell Non-Prime Dayparts

April 1, 2021

No, this isn’t an April Fools’ joke…

For as long as I have been in this business, advertisers have broken radio inventory into two categories: prime and non-prime. The labeling of some inventory as non-prime gives the impression that it has less value than the inventory labeled prime. A good radio sales person should not sell what is perceived as inferior.

I hope that you just read that and said, “WHAT!?” Let me explain.

Advertisers consider prime as Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM, and it holds a higher value than time periods that fall outside that daypart. By agreeing to this premise, you are telling the advertiser that your nighttime and weekend audience has a lower value than Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM.

This could not be further from the truth. Often it is the same audience just listening to the station across more hours. So, are these listeners less valuable because they are listening during these other time periods? No! If anything, they are worth more.

Obviously, it depends on the product or service that is being sold or promoted. It is also important to understand the goal of the advertising campaign.

Activities do not stop at 7PM. Restaurants and entertainment venues do their best business at night. Why not reach these same consumers at night? Now that dinner venues and events are opening up, nights are essential to bring back the consumers.

By the same token, activities don’t stop on Friday. Weekends are crucial for most retailers. Ask a car dealer when their showroom is busiest, or any store which days they generate the most sales. Most will say Saturday or Sunday.

Another reason to discount the premise: one of radio’s biggest advantages is delivering an advertiser’s message closest to the time of purchase. Often this is nights and weekends.

Finally, to those advertisers who are focused on reach and frequency models, they clearly show what happens when you add night and weekend units to a Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM schedule. In all cases, your GRPs will increase. In most cases, the advertiser will get both higher reach (new consumers) and higher frequency (listeners hearing the message more often).

Reaching listeners closer to the time of their purchase and delivering the advertiser higher reach and frequency – please tell me why you wouldn’t want nights and weekends.

Nights and weekends are prime inventory, and should be considered as valuable as Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM.

The next time an advertiser says they only want primes, tell them, “All right, on my station, prime is Monday-Sunday 6AM-12Mid. When we sell out there, we can then look at overnights.”

If you’d like to learn about how to position your inventory to convey the value of all dayparts, reach out to us here.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner