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Radio Shows Tune In to Listener Habits

Published on September 17, 2009
by Sarah McBride

Radio programmers are now able to collect so much data about listener habits that some have begun fine-tuning their shows down to the second–to the dismay of on-air personalities like Ryan Seacrest.

The “American Idol” TV show host has a popular morning radio show based in Los Angeles that frequently takes the top spot in its target audience of listeners age 18-34. But that isn’t good enough. He has been complaining about being told to cut short the chatter and play more Lady Gaga and other hit artists, all because of the rollout of an audience-measurement system used for selling advertising.

Arbitron Inc.’s (ARB) Portable People Meter two years ago began replacing radio’s antiquated diary-based audience-measurement system, in which people kept written records of what they listened to.

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