We haven’t seen a whole lot of changes in the Orlando radio market. I remember when our Oldies station around 2001 went to Alt Rock and about three years ago it went to some weird (take no offense, please – you guys reach a lot of people and should be considered in any buy) Oldies/Adult Alt blend. But now that the PPMs (Personal People Meters) have been in the market since October, we’re going to start seeing changes more rapidly. My favorite weekend Alt Rock station switched to Classic Rock, just because the PPMs said Classic Rock was a favorite in the market.
So why did WHTQ, the only Classic Rock station, just change their format to Rock? I found out that this was a change in the making for the past couple of years – it just takes Cox Media Group a little bit longer to make changes than some other radio clusters.
I was curious about how this change would affect their audience (it was primarily male 35-54 with a skew towards the higher age range) as I thought that the people who were listening to this station were listening because it helped them reminisce about their younger selves – and that they liked the music, too. And I was right about this. But what I found out that while the Classic Rock was catering to that older demo, the thirty year olds were losing out on their own reminiscing of rock music from the nineties!
So Cox saw an untapped market niche and, in a few markets, has already made the adjustment and has seen success with it. I was worried that this change would alienate the older women and they’d move to other stations, which they might. But this change opens their station up to reaching women in their thirties that loved the grunge and rock that was coming out of the nineties that helped define them. It’s switching one group for another. It was pointed out to me that this actually has the potential to reach more family audiences since it has a younger skew – and I think I’m on the verge of believing them.
Let’s see what the PPM books say this month and next and I’ll give you all an update on their performance.
Side Note: What are your top 3 favorite genres of stations to listen to and what “segment” do you fit into? If enough people respond, you’ll start to see how everyone has potential to listen to everything and PPMs are starting to show that, which is flat lining rating points. So how does one buy radio these days when you don’t have a huge budget and don’t have a national buying service? Stay tuned for my post next week.
Segments to choose from: A18-24, A25-54, A35-54, A50+
My answer: A25-54, NPR, Adult Alternative, and Classic Rock