by Nadia Pflaum
I listen to the radio when I drive around town, and I flip between Hot 103.3 Jamz and 95.7 The Vibe because they both play "urban" music (though The Vibe has always been more on the lighter side of things -- Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas -- than, say, KPRS's Lil Wayne and Drake).
But yesterday, The Vibe played a Rob Thomas song. And then, "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon. Obviously, something's up.
the company that calculates Kansas City's radio station ratings, is
switching from using listener-reported surveys (called "diarys") to a
system called PPM -- the Portable People Meter.
According to Arbitron's Web site, "The Portable People Meter is a
mobile-phone-sized device that consumers wear throughout the day that
works by detecting identification codes that can be embedded
in the audio portion of any transmission."
When a random sample of
people wear the PPM, the device picks up signals that tell Arbitron
what they're listening to on the radio, what they watching on TV, what
sites they visit on the Internet and what music is playing around them
in malls, restaurants and everywhere else.
you're like me, it sounds freaky and Big Brother-like, but my source is
optimistic. With PPM, the source says, radio stations will be able to
better adjust their programming to reflect what their listeners want to
hear. And, according to my insider, Top 40 stations have fared better
than urban stations, ratings-wise, in markets already using PPM, which
might be why The Vibe is making the switch.
The Vibe's press release includes this quote by SVP Jan Jeffries (sic all
around): "KCHZ has been gradually moving toward mainstream for several
months.Top 40 music is better than I remember it being in years. Our
listeners are reacting positively to the gradual adjustments. The
moniker is ALL THE HIT...95-7 THE VIBE."Time will tell how
successful the format change is for The Vibe. Radio insiders expect Arbitron's PPM ratings for the Kansas City market to come out in December. Meanwhile, I'm breaking
up with The Vibe and looking for a replacement station for my pre-set
When it comes to Nickelback, I have to draw a line.