NIELSEN REVEALS A FAST PACED EVOLUTION & MODERNIZATION OF CANADIAN ADULT CONTEMPORARY RADIO
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AC Stations Face Tough Decisions in Selecting Identifying Core Artists
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Nielsen BDSradio Unveils New Infosys+Radio Research
If you’ve noticed less Elton John, Billy Joel, and Phil Collins on Adult Contemporary (AC) radio recently, you’re not alone. Recent data from Nielsen BDSradio studying the evolution of the one-time “soft rock” format shows that AC is relying a lot less on its one-time staple artists. While new artists like Katy Perry and Bruno Mars have taken up some of the slack, the figures show that AC is increasingly a song-based, not artist-based format.
Nielsen BDSradio’s annual “Format Wars” session, presented to a packed room March 22 at Canadian Music Week, highlighted the continued evolution of the Canadian AC format. It also looked at the Edmonton market, a year after it became a three-way CHR war, and unveiled new research, in partnership with BBM Analytics, that helps stations gauge the effectiveness of their rotations in today’s crowded format landscape.
Nielsen BDSradio Operations Consultant Andrew Forsyth found that Canadian AC radio plays 20% more current music than it did five years ago. In addition, on average, music played on Canadian stations has become up to 12 years newer on some stations over that time.
The most surprising observation shows that 63% of the top 100 most-played AC artists from 2007 are no longer on the top 100 list in 2012. Many of those artist, like Collins and Rod Stewart, have found a new home on the Adult Hits and Oldies/Greatest Hits formats, which has taken ownership of AC’s ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s music.
While it was typical for some stations to play up to 34 titles by core artists, new acts like Perry, Mars, and P!nk are typically represented by fewer titles. As co-presenter Sean Ross of Radio-Info.com noted, the emphasis on hit songs, not core artists, means that “stations no longer know which three artists to feature at the top of their website.”
More Songs, More Music Minutes, More Contemporary
Nielsen BDSradio Canada also reveals a new way to track listeners’ experience with music on radio using Infosys+Radio, a service of BBM Analytics. A Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) study in Edmonton combined BDS airplay with PPM audience measurement, traditionally used in planning advertising schedules, to help track reach and frequency of the music they expose – – this information can be valuable both to programmers and to the industry that depends on radio for exposure.
A look at Edmonton’s fierce three-way CHR race shows that listeners of CFMG (Virgin Radio) would have heard Flo Rida’s recent No. 1 hit, Good Feeling, an average of 19 times over the last five weeks. Not only was Virgin Radio/Edmonton, with its tighter playlist and higher rotations, exposing the song more often to its own core audience, it was also the station where partisans of competing CHR stations were most likely to hear the song as well.
Nielsen BDSradio is preparing a similar report for U.S. radio.
Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems provides music research and monitoring services for the entertainment industry including Nielsen BDSradio, the only strategic tool designed for radio programmers. Nielsen BDS captures more than 100 million song detections annually on more than 1,900 radio stations, satellite and video channels in 176 markets across North America. Nielsen’s data on airplay, sales, and On-Demand streams is featured weekly in Billboard’s charts and is widely cited by numerous publications and broadcasters as the standard for music measurement.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
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Andrew Forsyth was the author and presenter of this study. He is Operations Consultant for Nielsen BDSradio. He can be reached 905-628-6470, [email protected]
Sean Ross is a veteran radio expert and writes the Ross on Radio newsletter for Radio-Info. He can be reached 973.763.1306, [email protected]
If you would like to learn how Nielsen BDSradio can help your station or for more information on this study please contact Stephanie Friedman, General Manager for Nielsen BDSradio North America. She can be reached at 604-569-2012, [email protected]