New ratings technology shows decline in classical radio listeners

Posted on: December 16, 2009

In Wednesday’s (12/16) New York Times, Stephanie Clifford writes, “American men have a naughty little secret. Sometimes, they like to relax with a little Céline Dion. Professed classical music fans have one, too: as it turns out, they don’t tune into classical radio nearly as much as they claim. These are two of many findings shaking up the radio industry as it converts from measuring ratings through surveys to monitoring listeners electronically using so-called Portable People Meters. … When 12 major areas, including New York and Los Angeles, switched to the system last year, classical radio’s market share fell 10.7 percent in those areas, a significant drop, according to a study by Research Director, a ratings consultancy. The numbers are part of what an industry consultant, Marc Hand, calls ‘a smorgasbord of issues’ facing commercial classical music stations. In the last year, major commercial stations including WCRB in Boston and WQXR in New York were sold to public radio operators, while KFUO in St. Louis was sold to a Christian broadcaster.”

Posted December 16, 2009