October 31, 2019

By Adam Jacobson

In July, RBR+TVBR first reported on collaborative efforts between Eastlan and Mike Agovino, presently CEO of Digital Audio Venture firm JaxLaw Inc. and President/CEO of independent podcast studio and consultancy Workhouse Connect.

Agovino worked with Eastlan for the launch of a new product offering from the Bellevue, Wash.-based radio audience measurement company. Now, key takeaways from an E-Plus test conducted in the Los Angeles market during July have been released.

“E-Plus” is specifically designed “to improve measurement accuracy in large multicultural radio markets.”

How so? E-plus, said Eastlan President Mike Gould, ”will significantly expand sample sizes from current Nielsen panels while also employing a single respondent per household model to ensure proportionate inclusion of multicultural consumers.”

What is the impetus for E-Plus?

Agovino makes no bones about it: Nielsen Audio and, before that, Arbitron, did a disservice to Hispanic radio in the nation’s No. 1 Spanish-language media marketplace by shifting to Portable People Meter (PPM) exposure-based methodology.

“Having sold advertising on Los Angeles stations for years I was shocked when PPM came in over a decade ago and completely recast the pecking order in the market,” says Agovino. “The most significant shakeup occurred across Spanish-language radio, where virtually all stations lost market share and rank positions.”

The reasons are varied, and have been discussed many times since the abolition of diary-based methodology in the nation’s biggest markets. Critics in favor of PPM cited “vote-based” diaries where a respondent would simply write “El Cucuy” or “QUE LUV” (instead of KLVE) and call it a day with their record-keeping. Others, including Lotus Communications President Jim Kalmenson, blasted PPM measurement as ineffective in instances where construction workers tuned to regional Mexican stations. As many shed all personal effects when working in tight crawl spaces, keeping a meter on is impossible. The result: zero detection of hours of listening.

“There are a number of well-chronicled reasons why PPM has been so punitive to Spanish- language radio,” Agovino believes. “We believe much of the challenge lies in the recruitment process and the decision to comprise a panel of households rather than individuals.”

E-Plus has taken a different path.

  •     E-Plus recruits individuals not households
  •     E-Plus makes initial contact with Latinos in Spanish
  •     E-Plus gives Latino respondents a choice between Spanish and English
  •     E-Plus in-tab is at least 50% greater than PPM
  •     E-Plus permits only 1 respondent from any household in the survey
  •     E-plus respondents report only the last 24 hours of listening
  •     E-Plus respondents do not carry over for multiple survey periods

That’s a huge difference from what Nielsen Audio provides.

Based on that methodology, Agovino says the E-Plus test results point to “a very healthy state” for Spanish-language radio and its competitive position in Los Angeles.

Without revealing the station call letters, he shared with RBR+TVBR and news partner HispanicAd.com the following information:

  •     Spanish-Language Stations are No. 1 and No. 2 Adults 25-54 in the total market
  •     Spanish-Language Stations are No. 1 and No. 3 Adults 18-49 in the total market
  •     Multiple Spanish-Language Stations are in the top 5 Adults 18-34
  •     At least three Spanish-Language Stations are in the top 10 on all prime demos
  •     Spanish-Language Stations dominate all Latino-only rankers
  •     Spanish-Language Stations rank No. 1-No. 6 in 25-54 Latino
  •     Spanish-Language Stations make up 6 of the top 10 in 18-49 Latino
  •     Spanish-Language Stations account for 32% of all market listening

Thanks to those positive returns, E-plus expects to announce its initial affiliates over the course of the next month and to begin measuring markets other than Los Angeles shortly thereafter.

Agovino has a rich history in radio broadcasting — and in the podcast space. From 1990 through 1995, he was GSM of Katz Radio, rising to President while adding duties in 1997 as Managing Director of Katz Interactive Marketing.

He shifted to the President/COO role at Clear Channel Radio Sales in 2000, staying through 2004.

In June 2005, Agovino helped launch Triton Digital, today Triton — wholly owned by The E.W. Scripps Co. Agovino was Triton Digital’s COO, and held the role for a decade.

In April 2015, he teamed up with Norm Pattiz to serve as Exec. Vice Chairman of Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne.

Since 2016, he’s focused his energies on podcast development studio Workhouse Connect, which produces shows like POPS! The Louis Armstrong Story and Fame Is A Bitch with AJ Benza.

Abouth Author
Adam Jacobson
Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.


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