New study: Listeners think radio station contests are rigged

An article this week in RadioOnline caught my eye as I recalled the recent 106.1 KBKS “KISSFM” bungled contest attempt to find the ‘funniest person in Seattle’ to host a new morning show which did eventually result in a winner of sorts.  NuVoodoo Media Services has released it’s fall 2019 “Contest & Marketing Guide” & reveals some surprising statistics.   A new study was undertaken in June based on 3,000 respondents ages 14-54 from across all PPM markets. It uncovered a rising skepticism of radio contests among listeners. Compared to NuVoodoo’s January 2019 study, the skeptics crept up four points, now at 29% of the sample – and ballooned up to 41% and 45% among those within the sample who profile as likely PPM or Diary participants.  When asked, nearly half say stations are trying to trick people into listening more.  Approx. 33% responded; “They never answer their phone or emails”  “They never show the prize drawings taking place” & “They never actually give away most of the prizes”  Mike O’Connor, Executive Vice President, Marketing, NuVoodoo Media Services, told “RadioOnline”: “These are aggregated numbers from our samples of over 3,000 respondents per study across all PPM markets. We know that perceptions about contest legitimacy vary widely from our work conducting perceptual studies for client stations. While there are always a few skeptics out there, some stations are viewed with far more suspicion than others. You hate being one of those stations, but you love it when you’re competing with them.” Viewing NuVoodoo’s statistical graphs on the survey,  I can’t imagine stations expecting listener loyalty when they create these suspicions among their audience.  These statistics prove it’s unwise to attempt such sleazy tactics.


Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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