June 14, 2021


As the CRB just announced a 17% increase in streaming royalties for radio, retroactive to the first of the year, it got us thinking about time. Although you can’t go back and recapture missed commutes during the pandemic, we can earn more quarter hours as the recovery of listening continues to accelerate.

With radio’s best listeners spending 95% of their lives away from the dial, winning their next tune-in involves being top of mind before they turn their radio on. 

These Moments of Truth involve listeners thinking about your brand when they are changing locations – getting in their car, arriving at work, heading out to lunch. These events make up the 31 occasions per week heavy listeners give to radio (compared to just 7 occasions per week by light users who spend less than 1 hour per day listening). 

Magnifying the importance of top of mind awareness is the dominant role of P1s. If your P2s are contributing as much listening as your P1s, you’re going to find yourself on the losing end of ratings and revenue.

An underlying reason that P1s are so important is that the majority of listening occasions only involve a single station. It’s counterintuitive, especially in a world of infinite choice. However, that’s the reality. In the midst of a measured listening occasion, most heavy listeners don’t switch.

You’ve got to take that hill, before they ever leave their house. That’s where you have the best opportunity to create and reinforce listening habits.

It’s similar to buying cereal. Are you the brand they intentionally put on their grocery list before they leave the house or are you fighting for awareness in an aisle filled with shopping carts and infinite choices? As shopping carts/lists go virtual (and car dashboards get more sophisticated), occupying this scarce brand leadership position becomes even more important to winning the occasion.With how important in-car listening is to station ratings, people regularly ask us for our perspective on billboards. For many retail brands, it’s a very effective platform. However for radio stations with a limited budget, it’s tough to objectively make the case. In addition to paying to reach vehicles that don’t live in town (ex. long haul truckers), you’re also paying to reach audience demos that don’t matter in ZIP codes across the metro.

By over-investing in people who don’t matter to your ratings and revenue, it results in under investing in the people who matter most to your success.

Beyond the inefficiencies of outdoor, another downside to investing in billboards goes back to the fundamentals of listening habits. By the time someone gets out of their neighborhood and eventually sees a billboard, the pivotal moment of truth has already passed.

Your marketing start dates should also be strategically taken into account, especially when budget approval is late and everyone wants to get started yesterday. In PPM, are you impacting the full month and is it a month that matters? In Diary markets, starting your marketing in the second phase means 1/3 of the diaries have already been spoken for. 

Our 360° Listener Engagement Campaigns are designed to deliver a concentration of touchpoints necessary to break through the noise and generate top of mind awareness and active engagement with the station, leading to increased listening occasions. 

As you look ahead to budgets for Q3/Q4 and 2022, our latest PPM calendar is now available for download.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Tony Bannon, Jen Clayborn and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thank you for reading and driving radio forward.


Andrew Curran
President and COO

The Will to Win

May 17, 2021
The NBA debuts its play-in tournament this week and it has already succeeded in making more teams push for the post season instead of tanking for a top lottery pick in the draft.

The NBA appears to be taking a page from the NFL and nobody does it better than the National Football League.

Legendary coach Vince Lombardi gave a speech, “What It Takes to Be Number One” with insights that apply to the challenges you’re facing today.

According to Lombardi, “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

He continued, “It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.”

“It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.”

As listening levels continue to rise with the rollout of vaccines and more people getting back into their cars and heading to work, radio needs to adopt a similar mindset and stop accepting year over year downturns in listening levels.

With so much compression in PPM markets, the difference between winning and losing is a game of inches.

After all, nothing can be monetized by radio groups as efficiently or aggressively as Nielsen ratings.

Just as creating content and generating revenue never ends, the same is true when it comes to listening, loyalty and driving daily cume from the employed, heavy listeners who matter most to you and your advertisers.

As the old Green Bay Packers coach used to say, “I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline.”

Although these words make for a great pre-game pep talk, as it turns out, people are irrational beings.

According to researchers, “when people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts.” The result it turns out, often leads to sub-optimal decision making.

Often, at times, when they can least afford to come up short.

As school districts across the country reopen five days per week this fall and vaccines keep rolling out, commuting will accelerate, giving radio a first and goal opportunity to increase listening and ratings.

Need your key revenue stations to be more #1 heading into 2022?

Is there a format competitor you have the chance to knock out?

Are you a classic hits or rock station that has delivered strong ratings during COVID-19, but your rank position is in jeopardy as leading female stations increase their listening?

If your cluster is delivering 31% of the overall A25-54 Ratings in Prime, but only 20% of the market revenue, don’t limp along with a negative power ratio.

Fortune favors the bold.

Let’s talk about strategically outperforming your market and achieving sustained ratings results just as we’ve been doing for clients across markets and formats throughout COVID.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Tony Bannon, Jen Clayborn, and everyone at DMR/Interactive, thank you for reading and driving radio forward.


Andrew Curran
President and COO

What’s the Shape of Your Recovery?

April 19, 2021


Harvard Business Review recently published a list of insights on the elevated role of marketing in the midst of this pandemic. As you work to bend the shape of your recovery, these insights can help accelerate the growth of your ratings and revenue.

Is your recovery ahead of schedule? The exact pace depends on various internal and external factors, including public health orders, which calls to mind the phrase, “control your controllables.”

Creating great content and bringing in revenue are essential aspects of running a radio station. With your ratings the #1 driver of station revenue combined with the reality that your best listeners spend 95% of their lives away from the radio, station marketing is essential to building listening habits and winning the recovery long term.

Despite the ongoing reality of reduced listening levels across markets, we’re continuing to help stations outperform their competition and surpass pre-COVID listening across formats and groups.




Getting heavy listeners to think about your brand, while they are away from the radio is crucial to winning their next occasion. Specifically, this top of mind awareness is critical for your brand each time your target audience gets into their car or arrives at work. These are the moments in their life when so much listening occurs.

With this strategic focus in mind, Harvard Business Review offers marketing insights that align with our DMR 360° Listener Engagement Strategy, designed to help accelerate your ratings and revenue growth.

Old truth: You are competing with your competitors.
NEW TRUTH: You are competing with the last best experience your customer had.

By the time schools welcome kids back in the fall, it will have been 18 months since the onset of the pandemic.

Your listeners had their world turned upside down; their need for radio changed along with their listening habits. Did they build new habits, find a better experience somewhere else or have they not been commuting to work? Regardless, how do you aggressively rebuild their listening over the next 6-12 months and keep them coming back for more?

That answer is going to vary for each listener, but across markets and formats, it starts with this next insight.

Old truth: Relationships matter.
NEW TRUTH: Relationships are everything.

Most people have friends from high school or college they haven’t spent time with in years. Yet, when you reconnect, you pick up right where you left off, not missing a beat.  

That’s the power of great relationships and it’s an opportunity that this ongoing recovery represents. A chance for listeners to reconnect with old friends – the personalities on their favorite station.

The fear programmers have of being forgotten by listeners is real and something stations are contending with as the months go by. The good news about relationships is that along with reconnecting with old friends, you also continue to build new relationships.

Especially when you focus on super-serving your target audience.

Old truth: Marketing begins with knowing your customer. 
NEW TRUTH: Marketing begins with knowing your customer segment.

When you look at your ratings, it’s all about knowing and super-serving your customer segments. Even in a well defined target demo, you have multiple segments.

For example, among W35-54, the life of a working mom with young kids is significantly different from the older end of the same demo when the kids are out of the house.

The more you know your customer segments, the more targeted your marketing will be, which will help your messaging break through and resonate, while accelerating the formation of stronger relationships with your brands, resulting in increased listening occasions by those who matter most to your ratings and revenue.

Let’s bend the shape of your recovery. 

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Tony Bannon, Jen Clayborn and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thank you for reading and driving radio forward.


Andrew Curran
President and COO