Watching the Listeners
January 30, 2003 3:39 PM Subscribe
Have you filled out your Arbitron Diary? Radio watchfrogs Arbitron more or less provide the nooses in which Conglomerations hang themselves with (or, switch formats from R&B to Country.) Perhaps your station is losing "ears" and you'd like to beat that system? First, don't play too much music. It gets in the way. Also, your morning show might want to adopt that old sawtooth sawhorse The Birthday Game! ("People perceive their chances of winning a substantial prize in the Birthday Game to be 1 in 365. Plus, most folks think of their birthday as lucky.") Diarists love it. If you're feeling especially sub-moral you should announce the wrong time to your listeners, a sneaky move deemed Time Warping (PDF) that in effect cuts a hole in the space-time collusion, not to mention your competitor's 'Drive-By' block. Arby's getting wise, though: The new-for-2003 The Portable People Meter, a snap-on privacy preventing prosthetic that records "invisible and inaudible" radio station cues removes that pesky Human Element from the diaries.
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