2019 began with some amazing news.
At this point, I have no idea why any of us are surprised at the power of your loyalty, but I’m glad that we maintain some sort of grounding in reality and never take for granted what this show, this family, and this RAD-ness has become.
The new year brought the latest batch of ratings from the Sacramento radio market, where we’ve been based since May of 1999 (Reno ratings will be out in a few weeks and are always even bigger than SAC numbers).
Mind you, in the 21st century, radio ratings in and of themselves are not even close to being an appropriate full measure of a station or show’s popularity, but they are still the most objective and reliable metering stick we have. For example, even with today’s technology, the Nielsen Ratings Company does a piss-poor job of properly counting and converting online and App listening into ratings.
Nielsen measures the radio ratings in every market in America. They’re the same company that does TV ratings, but with an entirely different methodology. To their credit, they do a pretty incredible job; it’s just frustrating that they can’t keep up with the times, and even more frustrating that their business model maintains a level of secrecy that doesn’t properly dispense the actual ratings results to all who want them. Basically, Nielsen sells the ratings to radio folks, but we’re heavily restricted contractually and legally in what we can actually say…which, when you’re #1, is a real pain in the ass. This is why every station and show can (and does) claim to be #1; because they can, and no one can fact check them. For example, you’ll hear or see ads for every show in town claiming that they’re “#1,” because they’re referring to a very niche demographic created by manipulating statistics. Almost every show has its base, and if you’re #1 for women between the ages of 31-34 well, you’re #1.
We can, and obviously do, share the actual ratings with advertising clients. Much beyond that, what we can say is very restricted, lest we be punished enormously and harshly by the ratings company. I have never had it properly explained to me why it is this way, it just always has been.
For example, I can proudly report to you that, as of the start of 2019, RAD of course, maintains its distinction as the #1 most listened to show for all people, all genders, and all species between the ages of 18-54 (the ages that matter in the media, although we’re extraordinarily strong 12-17 and 55-64). I can proudly report that we have seen our already large audience grow steadily since July of 2018 to the point of doubling in size by the end of December. This is remarkable and I can’t thank you enough.
Having nothing to do with Nielsen, I can report whatever I want about our online platforms and will tell you simply that the numbers are staggering. The first time we reported the actual quantity of people listening, downloading, visiting, watching, and interacting with all of our non-radio sources to our partners at Tech2U, a few of them almost literally popped the eyes out of their heads.
But, in this crazy, goofy, world, I can’t tell you who the #2 show is specifically or how badly, in exact numbers, we beat them. I can’t tell you that a show that tried to roar, (or perhaps bark is abetter word) into prominence a year ago has now officially limped into obscurity, not even cracking the top 10 in any ratings demographic of note. I can’t tell you that a radio station that spends most of the year failing to the point it changes its format for the holidays couldn’t come close to RAD at any time, or any point, thus killing the entire point of making a radical change in format.
What I can tell you is this; personality radio is similar to the NFL; the average career lasts 3-5 years in any given market. Those who outlast that average usually do so on the backs of their reputation and personal relationships with enough local advertisers who quite literally buy commercials on their shows simply because they know and like them. The idea that a show built entirely on personalities with no music as a net, can last and dominate a major market’s ratings for 20+ years is almost unheard of. And yet, here we are.
I stopped answering the asinine questions years ago; we have been offered gigs in every bigger city in America over-and-over again and we have turned down every one of them because we can. Period. We have carved out our very little piece of the world in Northern California and Northern Nevada and we are very happy to continue to decimate all comers. And to be honest, we’re only getting started after 20 years of success. Our plans and vision for the next few years are epic and will be fulfilled, and all of it is built on a very simple foundation: you.
We take what we do very seriously and we hate it when we let you down, or when those affiliated with us let you down or embarrass us. We are working hard to improve everything that we do and everyone that we partner with so that you are never disappointed in us because we know that this level of success is unprecedented and is the result of one thing and only one thing; our audience. To keep you, we have to serve you, and we will work our asses off to do so moving forward. For now, all I can offer is a very sincere “thank you,” for your loyalty, and a promise that we want to be even better than we are as we start 2019.