Moneyball: Fishing Where the Fish Are, Sort Of …


We’re digging through the data collected from over 3,200 14-54s nationwide in our latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study as we prepare to give clients first looks at the complete data before we release it more widely. It’s our way of giving back to a business we love and a future we’re very much invested in helping to preserve.

As noted last week, the first stunner in the new data is a five point drop in the percentage of radio listeners who predict they and members of their household would jump through all the hoops to be in a ratings sample, down from 22% to 17%. Yet, the percentage of heavy TSL listeners who might show up in a ratings sample holds fairly steady at 7% overall. The chart shows the trend across our last four studies.

The segment that peels away with this latest study are lighter radio listeners. Perhaps those who feel the meager rewards involved aren’t worth their time in a gradually improving economy? As noted as week, it shows the uphill battle faced by ratings services trying to fill their samples. Seen through another lens, however, it may cause an apparent uptick in the overall radio listening reported by ratings services.

“RPS: Contest Players” is a new breakout we are introducing in this study. They’re the likely ratings respondents who say they’ve shared their email address or mobile phone number to enter a contest. They tally up to 11% of the sample, a wider look than the heavy-listening subset of ratings likelies and represent those in ratings samples who are most likely to engage in contesting. Radio regularly relies on the behavior of contest players to build higher AQH. The new data will show programmers and managers the best ways to reach these critical users and the best tactics to employ.

Overall, the ranking of channels where people say they pay attention to ads is relatively steady from our study last summer, Ratings Prospects Study 22. YouTube and Connected TV are ascendant, while Direct Mail and Broadcast/Cable TV soften.

If we cut to the chase and show ad attention data among ratings-likely contest players, you see the gift radio stations enjoy when advertising contests. It’s like the old joke about the guy who used dynamite to catch fish (The game warden told him it was illegal; the guy handed a lit stick of dynamite to the game warden and asked, “Are you going to fish or talk?”).

If you’re the type of person who’d jump through all the hoops to be in a ratings sample AND you’re also the type of person who’s given up personal info to enter a contest, it stands to reason that you pay attention to all sorts of advertising channels. These are the results across a sample of 14-54s, the results vary with demo, ethnicity, and format constituency. But you see the powerful advantage you have when advertising your well-crafted contest: some channels are better than others, but it’s hard to miss the target. And, of course, the NuVoodoo marketing team has all the details and deep experience optimizing these channels.

NuVoodoo believes data-based decisions are better decisions, so we regularly share key findings with all broadcasters, and not simply those who choose to do business with us. Meanwhile, we’re counting down the research mistakes we see being made too often in a webinar series available at