Last month we highlighted a significant turning point for radio.
After years (some say a decade) of deteriorating listening, local radio turned a corner in January.
For the first time since PPM was implemented radio put together six consecutive months of year-over-year listening growth.
In August radio managed to continue that trend, notching another month of growth.
Radio listening, as measured by average quarter-hour ratings (AQH), swung from a loss of 4.3% in 2014 to a gain of 3.0% last month, a swing of over 7%.
Equally significant was the proportion of markets that gained listening. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of PPM markets increased AQH compared to 2014.
Considering that only four markets managed to expand listening the year before, that is quite a turnaround in one year.
Oddly, this turnaround has gotten scant attention. Why aren't we hearing more about this?
Perhaps after years of decline radio’s leaders don’t believe the numbers. They assume that this reversal of fortune is temporary, that radio’s fate is to continue to lose audience.
Or perhaps radio’s leaders believe the trend but don’t want to acknowledge the likelihood that Voltair is behind the turnaround.
Admitting that after years of decline Voltair generated unprecedented growth in a matter of months would be an admission that PPM is flawed.
That would be awkward for many reasons.