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All About Arbitron

When it comes to AM/FM radio – where 92% of all Americans tune in every week – Arbitron Radio Ratings have been the “be all, end all” in terms of measuring audience size.  This, in turn, establishes the basis for radio advertising rates.

Sometimes, you have to look past the initial set of numbers to get the whole story.  For example, if you are trying to focus on a few particular counties in the Chicago area for Adults 18-49, you might see a lot of variation in terms of the stations that top the list in this smaller geographic area.

In many cases, you’ll get a few surprises on the ranker in terms of the top-rated stations, but that’s when you have to look at the little things. If you check the intab numbers which show exactly how many people were in the sample size, you’ll get a barometer for how accurate the ranker is. If the sample size is 100 people, you might not be getting totally reliable snapshot.  In cases like this, you might be better of using a ranker for the entire Chicago DMA.

Another factor to consider in breaking down the ratings is how differently stations perform by daypart.  One station might rank very high for the entire week, but if a client is interested in running a Midday flight, that same station may or may not be the most appropriate fit.  That’s when Media Planners are in their glory, slicing and dicing the numbers to find the most efficient and most effective placement options.

These are just some of many factors a good Media Planner weighs when putting together a comprehensive radio campaign, which plays an key role in a client’s overall advertising campaign success. We’re experts on everything radio, so if you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.  We’d love to tackle your next challenge.

Greg McGlone is a Media Buyer at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website