Survey: Listeners Prefer Local Over National Contests.

When it comes to radio contesting, more listeners like local than national. That’s the finding of a new NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study, which found that 59.8% of respondents are more likely to play a local radio contest with a smaller prize than the 35.7% who said they were more likely to play a national radio contest with a larger prize.

NuVoodoo provided a choice between two hypothetical contests: one where the 25th local caller wins $250, the other where the 25th nationwide caller wins $1,000. It found that the smaller prize – against a smaller, local entry pool – beats the larger, nationwide prize by better than a two-to-one margin.

That said, when NuVoodoo narrowed the sample to those who are most likely to participate in a PPM-type audience measurement methodology, the gap also narrows – with a higher percentage lured in by the bigger prize. The NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study surveyed 3,041 respondents, ages 14-54, across all PPM markets.

Digging down deeper, there were also differences in responses based on format. Potential PPM panelists who are P1 listeners to urban stations favored the larger prize. Rock and alternative P1’s slightly favored the local option. And P1’s for the “library formats” – classic hits, classic rock and variety hits– were very strongly in favor of the local contest. Country P1’s voted even more strongly in favor of local contest over national.

“Contesting is a proven tactic to help boost ratings,” Carolyn Gilbert, president and CEO, NuVoodoo Media Services notes. “If it’s a choice between doing a group contest or no contest at all, we’ll advise clients to run the group contest. But these data show the significant preference of most PPM-compliant format P1 groups for a local contest – even if it means a smaller prize.”


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