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You can’t find listeners you don’t look for

Modern rock…showed a marked decline in listenership. The “Alternative” format, which Arbitron breaks down as modern rock, triple-A, and the now defunct “new rock,” has an AQH share of 3.9, the lowest since 1998.

As Jacobs Media has shown, Alternative fans are more likely than most radio listeners to use a cell phone as their exclusive home phone. And Arbitron, of course, doesn’t call cell phones. That, naturally, uninvites – differentially and unfairly – Alternative listeners from the Arbitron equation.

And the sad part is, by the time Arbitron finishes studying this problem and devises a solution for it, a great many Alternative stations will have died of ratings neglect.

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