Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Top 5 formats

These numbers are circa 2001 and again this January. You will notice that things have changed a little and I'll explain that too. These are the most common formats. Hot the most popular, and certainly not the most profitable. I am talking about quantity, not quality.
FORMAT BREAKDOWN 2001
Country = 2,183
AC = 1,270
Talk (News + Sports)
= 1,218
Religion
= 1,180
Oldies
= 883

FORMAT BREAKDOWN 2008
Country = 2,201
AC
= 948
Talk (News + Sports) = 1,283
Religion
= 1,551
Oldies
= 806

I did this last fall the "Free FM" experiment would have skewed my talk numbers I expect. The last few months has seen an increase in the total number of talkers but nothing big. I think, that's off set by the total loss of the Air America affiliates. AC appears to decrease but really it's diversified. Rhythmic AC formats like Diva, and Classic Hits hybrids like Jack has actually pumped life into format a blander than mayonnaise.

The up tick in religious stations is very real. It's just religious talk not any of the music formats. Christian Contemporary, Christian AC, and Gospel are all stagnant. What we're seeing is a continued buying spree on the part of religious sat-casters. Format listenership is actually down per capita.

Really depressing here is the dead of Oldies. While in the last few weeks we've seen Citadel concede a 800 million dollar loss for the year 2007. What were seeing as a result is them flipping low earners to the True Oldies brand. Oldies isn't' going to score them a 5 share. But oldies is stable in essentially every market. But this is a small adjustment. And probably a temporary one as Citadel tries to increase the value of some assets before selling them.

I lack the numbers but the last 3 weeks also saw big cuts in smooth jazz. I really cant say anything but FINALLY. Here is a format entirely based on the TSL of people not really listening.