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Weekends Were Made for…

October 20, 2022

Michelob? Truly an ad campaign from the pre-craft beer era. More importantly, weekends were made for radio listening. Last week, Fred Jacobs published a blog pertaining to this subject. He focused on the programming aspects of this, shall we say, neglected day part. We are going to focus on the data (we are The Ratings Experts, after all).

In case you missed it, our previous blog focused on the sales benefits of weekends (you can read that here).

As radio programmers, we have been, uh, programmed to believe in the big three: Morning, Midday, and Afternoon. While there is usually more available AQH in those day parts than Nights or Weekends, this singular focus does not take into account listening patterns.

Here’s the money stat: a successful music station will see 50% of its cume tune in to at least one Weekend day part. This is a far greater percentage than listens to a typical morning show. An average morning show will usually draw in about a third of a station’s weekly cume.

Now a little math. Your AQH share is based on two things: weekly cume and weekly AWTE (Average Weekly Time Exposed). AWTE (or TSL for us old schoolers) is composed of two numbers: occasions and durations. In the PPM universe, durations are relatively static. However, occasions are in a station’s control. Getting new listeners is difficult. Manipulating existing listeners is a much easier task.

This is where Weekends comes in. It is a too often overlooked recycling opportunity. You could have more of your audience tuning in on Saturday and/or Sunday than listen to your morning (or mid-day or afternoon) show. If you can get those listeners to contribute just one more occasion in another day part, it will have a powerful impact on your AWTE. This will, in turn, increase your AQH share.

As stated previously, this example applies to music stations. Spoken word has a much different profile. Sports stations usually see minimal weekend tune in except for play-by-play. News and News/Talk stations are usually primarily a Monday-Friday 6A-7P creature. The one exception we have seen is for NPR stations that run “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me,” which will provide a ratings spike.

Every single day, programmers fret over how they can improve their station’s ratings. Recycling from Weekends to other day parts is a tactic you can implement immediately. How you do it is why you get the big bucks.

If you would like to do a deeper dive into this, or any other metric, The Ratings Experts from Research Director, Inc. stand ready to serve. Click here for more information on how we can help you win in the ratings.

-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant