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PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2017

| February 9, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

LOS ANGELES — Analogous to the ocean of red minus marks we have been witnessing in the stock market since last Friday (2/2), the “Holiday” 2017 ratings report contains a plentiful percentage of striking downward moves as well.

There are, of course, obvious differences in the two scenarios.

Unlike Wall Street’s massive negative “correction” (as they prefer to call it), the radio industry knew 12 months in advance exactly what was going to happen; when; and why.

For many years, it has been common knowledge that one particular blue-chip “stock,” the one that plays wall-to-wall Christmas music for a roughly four-week period leading up to Christmas Day, balloons in the “Holiday” ratings period.

Furthermore, unlike Wall Street investors in extreme angst regarding what/when constitutes the market’s “bottom,” history indicates radio ratings usually shake right back out in January or February, at the latest.

Ever since the all-Christmas music phenomenon became a genuine “thing,” several natural curiosities have surfaced, such as:

  • When will the widespread popularity for around-the-clock holiday music reach its ceiling?
  • Which formats are most susceptible to the all-Christmas strategy?
  • Can a market sustain multiple all-Christmas music stations?
  • Especially in light of CBS’s “Big Brother” getting Omarosa to take on NBC’s Olympics coverage, is there counter-programming solution to all-Christmas music?
  • How can an all-Christmas music station extend its brand past the January or February sweep?

Those last two questions are ongoing daunting challenges left up to the programmers; however, in this overview and the adult contemporary ratings analysis posted earlier this week (Wednesday, 2/7), you might find, at least, a glimmer of insight to the first three queries.

In addition to Wednesday’s in-depth analysis of adult contemporary – the dominant all-Christmas music format – we have also addressed the “Holiday” 2017 sweep as it relates to public news/talk; commercial news/talk; and urban contemporary.

Included below are all PPM-stations that either improved – or decreased – by one full-share (December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and this special report ends with even bonus coverage to the bonus coverage.

We have broken out this interesting data market-by-market; format-by-format; highs to lows; and (6+) AQH share and ranking.

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