RPS XVII Preview: How to Get Your Ratings From Here to Vaccinated

People with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept

NuVoodoo’s 17th Ratings Prospects Study is our first snapshot of likely panelists and diarykeepers in 2021! We completed interviews with close to 3,500 14 to 54 year-olds in these initial days of January – including the subsets most likely to participate in the radio ratings.

We’re planning our first 2021 webinar for next month: How to Get Your Ratings From Here to Vaccinated. We’ll work to cover the things you need to know to put your station on top of the Nielsen ratings.

  • Work-from-home and workplace listening trends
  • Podcasts, smart speakers & streaming
  • National and local contests
  • Marketing messages that drive tune-in or boost TSL
  • Social and digital channels that move the needle
  • Advertising channels that maximize reach (while not killing the budget)


Sweeping changes in Americans’ daily lives have led to seismic shifts in media consumption. As always, we’ll highlight the difference between those who’d say “yes” to Nielsen and those who would never participate in the radio ratings, as well as the behavior and opinions of heavy listeners.

We know PD’s and talent need to be thinking about drawing and maintaining audiences in 2021. These days, having your music dialed in perfectly is only table stakes to stay in the game. To build ratings you need to increase the emotional appeal of your station to draw people in and keep them coming back. You need to be focused on developing entertaining, non-duplicable content.

NuVoodoo marketing guru Mike O’Connor says, “The art of programming success is maximizing occasions of time-spent-listening as reported by Nielsen. Mastering the social and digital channels that match up well with your station audience is critical for fostering deep engagement and tune-in. Those who interact with your brand digitally are far more likely to be in the Nielsen ratings sample.”

To illustrate Mike’s point, I pulled this table from our new sample. We asked respondents to recall the last time they connected with stations in Social Media or saw a YouTube video posted by a station. The numbers here are the percentages who’d done these things within the past week. The overall sample numbers are in red in this chart (22% who’d connected with a station social media post and 21% who’d seen a station YouTube video). The great bulk of the sample who model through as unlikely to ever show up as meter wearers (“PPM No” – in gold) are even less enthusing at 16% and 14%.

But, the subset most likely to show up as meter wearers (“PPM Yes” in green) make those numbers a lot more interesting – 40% & 43%. And the smaller, but incredibly important subset of that “PPM Yes” group – the ones who listen to broadcast radio at least 60 minutes a day (“PPM 60” in blue) – reveal themselves as a group in which a majority connects with station media online.

It’s a matter of connecting with those heavy-listening ratings likelies and giving them little dopamine hits they associate with your brand – that keeps them coming back to your station again and again.

We’ll include a registration link for the first 2021 NuVoodoo webinar in next week’s post.