And what if the station has been doing the same format since 1987 and hasn’t made any huge programming changes?
Even smaller, right?
So how do we explain KTWV, The Wave, achieving a 4.4 share in May, its highest share since Los Angeles switched to PPM?
The conventional wisdom is that iHeartMedia’s switch to urban contemporary helped KTWV, but let’s be real here.
It would take nearly all of Hot 92.3's listeners coming over to The Wave to pull that off.
The format change can’t explain a 69% increase.
Even if the Program Director, Ralph Stewart, has The Wave sounding better than ever, can we believe that a twenty-eight year old radio station that has averaged no more than a three share in PPM in six years can suddenly pull a 4.4 share and go from 20th to 5th in four months?
Only if they’ve installed Voltair.
Smooth Jazz is a format that PPM punishes more than most other formats. The format itself does not encode well, and it is generally played at a low level, complicating decoding.
Both factors conspire to increase the likelihood that Nielsen’s PPM will underestimate the format’s audience.
So Voltair should help Smooth Jazz more than other formats, and the impact should be immediate...like we see with KTWV.
Take a look at the above trend and ask yourself whether explosive growth like this is better product or something more.
There aren’t many Voltairs in service in Los Angeles, but the big players have them. Maybe that’s the reason that market AQH is up 5%.
That’s 5% in a billion dollar market.
With more than 600 stations using the box and many more waiting their turn we continue to hear nothing from Nielsen, The NAB, The Nielsen Advisory Council, or MRC.
How many more miraculous success stories are we going to hear before somebody admits there’s a problem with PPM?