The first round of Arbitron Portable People Meters radio ratings are in for Los Angeles. The winner is KIIS-FM. Long thought of as dominate in the LA radio market, Hispanic stations have dropped out of the top five on the list of 12 year old and older listeners. While the ratings won’t be official until October, they do point the way to a changed Los Angeles radio landscape.
The electronic meters have been proven to be more accurate than the antiquated diary method. People tend to default to the larger stations or their favorite station when filling out the diary. Especially true when it’s Friday and you have forgotten to fill out Monday-Thursday in your diary. Diaries also tended to show that people listened to one station for a long period of time. Meters better reflect the reality that we are a culture of button pushers.
Change is inevitable and accuracy is a good thing. As with other metered markets, whether it is TV or radio, we will all need to adjust to the new ratings. The way people listen to radio may not have dramatically changed but the way we measure it has. This in turn will force us to take a second look at the benchmarks we have used in the past. While it might be painful in the short term, over the long haul we will be better able to target those people we are trying to reach.
Jay Drummond, Senior Vice President, Media Director