Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Me and Arbitron
Last week our family completed an Arbitron ratings survey for local radio. It was quite a little process. First, came a letter of interest along with a crisp new dollar bill promising a future monetary token of appreciation should we agree to participate. Then came a phone call wherein I agreed to do it. I asked the caller how much would we receive, and she said “about the cost of a cup of coffee.” Not that I’m that desperate for money. I’m just interested in marketing. A few days later, we received packets with the surveys for each family member. And there was again a crisp dollar for each of us. Another phone call to make sure we got them. Another letter reminding us of the date to begin our diary entries. Phone call to remind us to start. Letter to remind us to mail them back. And I think another phone call, but I could have lost count.
Now, I only listen to the radio in the car. Same with husband as he makes the short commute to work. High school senior son doesn’t listen to the radio at all. And in fact, he decries the awful music selections we have in Montgomery. He has a 10 CD player and listens to his own favorite music. According to a story in the New York Times, “The Youngsters Aren’t Listening as Much,” Larry Rosin, the president of Edison Media Research, credits the trend with competition from all sorts of other media and that radio is largely ignoring the 12-24 demographic group of which my son is a member. He’s almost 18.
One last thing Arbiton, you know that dollar doesn’t buy a cup of coffee in my neighborhood. Not even at McDonald’s.