Online surveys of listener panels help radio stations reach top of the charts.

The Customer

Cogeco is an award-winning telecommunications and media company that serves residential and commercial customers throughout North America. Its subsidiary, Cogeco Diffusion, owns and operates 13 radio stations across most of the province of Québec with complementary radio formats serving a wide range of audiences.

The Challenge

In the highly competitive music listening space, radio stations must continually strive to keep listeners loyal and reduce tune-out rates. This means always having a sense of which top songs are becoming less popular and which ones audiences still love as much as ever.

Most of the songs played by Cogeco Diffusion’s radio stations are current songs, those hot and new songs from top charts. To evaluate the continued appeal of such songs Cogeco Diffusion used to rely on data provided by Billboard. While this information gave them a helpful guideline in planning programming, it was not representative of their local audience’s tastes and was not sufficiently current.

The Turning Point

In order to stay on top of shifts in their audience’s music preferences, Cogeco Diffusion wanted frequent music feedback from their own local listening audience. Cogeco turned to Voxco to help set up a seamless system to conduct music feedback surveys with Cogeco’s defined panel of local listeners.

To manage their panel of survey respondents, Cogeco was able to connect the Cogeco recruitment microsite directly to Voxco Panel through an API. Now, regardless of the way in which a panel member listens to the radio songs – whether by traditional radio, online station or mobile app – Cogeco can create precise respondent samples for each questionnaire, based on gender, age, favorite radio station, etc.

Selected panel members are asked to listen to about 40 music clips biweekly and rate each of them through a web survey in Voxco Online. The software’s real-time results allow instant analysis of audience preferences, so the researchers can now very quickly advise the music programming team of early indications of song fatigue or that other songs are catching on with their audience.

The Results: Ongoing audience feedback boosts overall listenership

Cogeco found their new approach with Voxco’s survey tools gave them a very cost-effective and versatile survey system to run frequent music feedback surveys. By moving to Voxco technology, Cogeco went from depending on a general pool of current song statistics to receiving targeted music feedback from their own listeners. They have now established a process that allows them to collect and analyze listener feedback, and then update their playlists all within two days.

The results of these changes have already been reflected in the fact that The Beat, one of Cogeco’s Quebec radio stations, went from being #3 in the spring of 2014 to #1 in the winter 2015!

« Voxco Online is the perfect tool to run audio measurement studies for Cogeco radio stations. We now run ongoing music testing with our own listeners for quick playlist turnaround time. Voxco Online has become our preferred decision tool and has helped us achieve higher ratings. »

Melanie Begnoche, Director of Research at Cogeco

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