Doc: I haven't seen it, but I heard there is a video on the Internet showing a guy shoot someone who was hiding in a mailbox. Do you know anything about that? - Anonymous
Anon: Yes, I know about it and so does Snopes.com. To find out all about the video, click here. Make sure that you read the complete explanation of the video.
What percentage of an artist’s income comes from the following sources: CD/cassette sales, radio play, video play, and touring. Thanks. - Anonymous
Anon: Interesting question. I called a good friend of mine who is a high-level exec in one of the major record companies (he asked not to be named). Here is a summary of what he said:
There is no way to come up with average income percentages because each artist is unique. (The word "artist" also includes "groups" or "bands.") However, the percentage of income from each of the sources you mentioned depends mostly on whether the artist is well established or a new act.
Well established artists make large percentages of their income from both CD/cassette sales and touring. New acts make the largest percentage from touring.
In reference to radio play and video play—only the writer and the publisher of the music make money from these two sources. An artist does not receive royalties from songs performed that are written/published by someone else. The obvious advantage for an artist is to write his or her own music.
Male-Dominated Morning Show
Have you ever run into a situation where you had to make the morning show more “female friendly?” What kind of actions did you take? Thanks! - Anonymous
Anon: Yes, I have encountered this situation many times. The process depends on whether you have money for research. If you don’t have money, you’ll have to guess—and I don’t like guessing.
However, before I address your question, we need a operational definitions for a “male friendly” and “female friendly” morning show. Since I’m doing the writing, here are the definitions I will use for your answer:
Male-friendly One: Sports-based show following an assumption that all males (and no females) are interested in sports. The show includes scores and highlights, interviews with athletes from different sports who all say the same thing, predictions about which teams will win and lose, frequent recollections of games and sports events from the past, and countless statistics and facts known only to sports freaks. (Possible Program Idols: Howard Cosell, Bob Costas.)
Male-friendly Two>: A sex-based show following an assumption that all males are named Beavis and Butthead and think/behave like them—insensitive to everything and anything. Most comments and discussions are about body parts and bodily functions and are targeted to pre-adolescent or adolescent males (or older males who still think/behave that way) who roll on the floor in hysterical laughter when they hear such things as, “She pricked her finger.” (Possible Program Idols: Howard Stern, Andrew Dice Clay, Carrot Top, The Three Stooges.)
Male-friendly Three: A version of “Male-friendly Two,” but less crude and explicit, yet still not sensitive to females. (Possible Program Idols: Tim Allen, Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla from “The Man Show” on Comedy Central).
Female-friendly: None of the elements contained in the male-friendly approaches. The show is entertainment-based and sensitive to both male and female issues without going overboard. The show includes information, adult humor (not crude), comments and discussions that do not focus on body parts or bodily functions, and thinking is a process that is considered to be accomplished with the brain, not some other body part. (Possible Program Idols: The characters on Friends).
OK, so those are the definitions I’m working with. They may not be scientific in nature, but they provide a base from which to start. I don’t know which, if any, of the three male-friendly shows you currently have on the air.
Now…I assume that since you’re interested in making a change to your morning show that you have discovered in some way that the show is not female-friendly. You didn’t mention anything, but I assume that (1) Your female numbers in Arbitron are low or non-existent; (2) You have research where your females complained that the show focuses on sex and/or “female bashing;” or, (3) Your perception is that the show is not female-friendly. I don’t know which of these options, if any, is correct.
But that doesn’t make much difference. The fact is that you are interested in knowing how to approach the topic, and here are a few things to consider:
You must first decide what your target will be. You want to be more female-friendly, but you need to define what that means. 18-24? 22-32? 25-34? What? You can’t do anything until you make that decision.
Next, you need to get information from the females you want to target to find out what they think about the current show. What do they like? What don’t they like? What is offensive, if anything? In other words, what do they want in a morning show? What kinds of things can you do to your show to make it attractive to them? Ya gots ta know.
After you find out what the females want, you’ll need to find out three things: (a) How many males will you lose with the new approach? (b) How many males will you gain with the new approach? and, (c) How many females will you gain with the new approach?
These numbers aren’t easy to calculate, but they can be produced if you ask the right questions in a research study.
Those are the steps involved. As I said, if you can’t conduct research, you’re only option is to guess (that makes me very nervous). If you guess, you’ll need to know the population figures in your market for your target female audience. You need to make sure that there are enough females in your target to warrant a more female-friendly morning show. You also need to look at the Arbitron numbers for females for other radio stations in your market that are female-friendly. Can you steal them?
The process isn’t easy to explain in just a short note, but those are the basic steps. Let me know if you need additional information.
Margin of Error
Is it naive to think that the larger your sample size, the smaller your margin of error will be no matter what? Or is there a certain size that is most efficient and least error prone? This is for callout research use. - Anonymous
Anon: I wouldn’t say it’s naïve. I would say it’s wrong. And here’s why . . .
Sampling error doesn’t relate only to the size of the sample. The computation for sampling error assumes that your sample is randomly selected and representative of the population. If you meet these two qualifications, then sampling error computation is OK. If you don’t meet these qualifications, then sampling error computation means nothing.
For example, assume for a moment that your callout research uses a sample of 1,000 respondents. If you calculate the sampling error you’ll find that it’s ±3.1%. That’s not bad. However, instead of 1,000 P1s between the ages of 18-24 (assume that’s who you wanted in the sample), you had 1,000 P1s for another radio station who are 45-54. According to your sampling error computation, your error is about ±3.1%. In reality, however, your sampling error is probably close to 100%.
See what I mean? Sample size alone means nothing. You must also have the correct respondents for the sampling error to make sense.
This concept relates to the research term known as the "Law of Large Numbers," which some people (and researchers) follow. It is an incorrect assumption that a large number of people eliminates the problem of a poor sample. It doesn’t. You can have a rotten sample of 100 people or a rotten sample of 500,000 people. Do not assume that a large sample corrects a poor sample. It doesn’t.
As to your callout sample . . . Most callout research uses a sample 100 respondents per testing period. Assuming the sample is selected correctly, your margin of error is about ±9.8%. In other words, if 80% of your sample likes a song, the actual number falls between 70.2% and 89.8%. That’s not bad since you’re analyzing people’s ratings of songs.
In most behavioral research, a sampling error of ±5.0% is acceptable. Remember, we’re dealing with human beings who constantly change their perceptions and attitudes and a lower sampling error percentage usually isn’t necessary. Now it would be nice to get to a 5% sampling error in your callout (you need a sample of 400 to do so), but realistically speaking, it won’t happen. Your callout would cost took much with 400 respondents.
Over time, the N=100 sample for callout has become commonplace. The only problem I see is that most people (usually PDs) don’t take sampling error into consideration when they interpret the song ratings—they look at the numbers and assume they are real. They aren’t. They are ranges.
As long as I’m on the topic, I’ll add this: Sampling error is not the only type of error involved in callout research. There is also measurement error that involves things such as problems with the rating scales, the hooks, the interviewers, data analysis, and more; and there is random error that includes unknown sources of error such as respondent characteristics.
A sample of 100 for your callout is fine. Just remember that the song ratings are ranges.
What does the term ‘marker variable’ mean in research? - CJ
CJ: A marker variable is a variable that has been repeatedly found to be important in whatever it is that you are testing. For example, let’s assume that you are conducting a research study to test the importance of various elements in your morning show.
After years of research, we know that "weather reports" usually appears in the top three most important elements. The element—weather reports—is a marker variable because it has continually been shown to be important to listeners to all formats in all market sizes.
Does that mean you don’t have to test "weather reports" in your study? No. It’s good to leave the variable in your test to serve as a baseline. If "weather reports" doesn’t show in the top three or four elements, you may need to check your sample, check how the question was worded, or check for coding problems. However, it may be that you found something new and nothing is wrong with the study.
One characteristic of the scientific method of research is that it is self-correcting—new information always replaces what is already "known." You may find that weather reports lose importance for one reason or another. That’s why it’s important to continually test the same things.
The term "marker variable" simply means that the variable is known to be important, or is known to have an influence or effect.
I have to create a marketing plan for a prospective client—a promotion of an upcoming concert. However, I forgot how to. Can you give me an idea what to include, what it should look like, etc.? Thanks. - Screechy
Screechy: You forgot how to prepare a marketing plan? Don’t make me come out there.
As with any proposal, you need to take the prospective client/buyer through the 5 Stages of Communication (Unawareness, Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action). The way to do this is to answer these questions in relation to your proposed advertising schedule: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. If you answer those questions, the client should understand how your promotion will help his/her business.
What does a marketing plan look like? It looks like a term paper you would write for a class project. The length depends on how you answer the six questions I listed above.
Here are a few Internet searches that provide most information:
I Forgot One
I Forgot Two
I Forgot Three
Mascots - How Important?
How important are mascots for a radio station? You know, like bees and stuff? - Anonymous
Anon: Bees and stuff? OK, I know what you mean. I have asked this question many times. Generally speaking, a radio station mascot isn't perceived as important by most radio listeners. A small percentage of people say that a mascot may help them remember a radio station.
However, as I always say . . . you need to check this with your listeners. It may be that your listeners' TSL would skyrocket if you had a woodchuck, Vulpes Fulva, or warthog as a mascot.
Mass Media Definition
Doc: The term “mass media” is used all the time. What is the definition of “mass media?” In other words, what are the mass media? - Anonymous
Anon: In our 10th edition of Mass Media Research: An Introduction (Cengage 2014), Joe Dominick and I define the mass media as:
Any form of communication that simultaneously reaches a large number of people, including radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, billboards, films, recordings, books, the Internet, cell phones, and tablet computers..
Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition (Roger D. Wimmer & Joseph R. Dominick)
Doc: Do you have a website for your textbook? I'm sure you have one, but I can't find it. - RC
RC: Yes, Joe Dominick
and I have a website - click
In a meeting the other day, my GM used the term “mass mediums” when talking about radio and television. Is that correct? I thought the word “media” is used for the plural of medium. - Anonymous
Anon: Your GM is wrong. You are correct. The only time “mediums” is correct is in reference to several psychics, such as, “Mediums claim to predict the future.”
However, it’s amazing how many people incorrectly use “mediums” when referring to the mass media. Check out some of these web pages. (I wonder if Joe Dominick and I should change the title of our book to Mass Mediums Research: An Introduction?)
I remember learning (but forgot) a little trick about multiplying by 9s. Do you know what that is? - Anonymous
Anon: I forgot about this little trick and had to think about it for a while. Here is how it works:
To multiply any number by any number of 9s (such as 25 x 99), add as many 0s to the multiplicand (25 in this case) as there 9s in the multiplier (99), which is two 0s (2500). From this number, subtract the multiplicand (2500 - 25). The answer is 2475.
1 x 9 = 10 – 1 = 9
32 x 9 = 320 – 32 = 288
11 x 99 = 1100 – 11 = 1,089
16 x 999 = 16,000 – 16 = 15,984
230 x 9,999 = 2,300,000 – 230 = 2,299,770
Math Question 2
Doc: I'm terrible with math. In a news story I heard, the reporter said that Goodyear was laying off 5,000 people, which is 7% of the company's workforce. That made me wonder how many total employees Goodyear has. Is there an easy way to figure that out from the information in the news story? - Anonymous
Anon: Yes, there is a simple way to calculate an approximate number of employees. The formula is 5,000/x = 7%. If you divide 5,000 by .07, you'll get an approximate total. Do it.
You should get 71,428.57, which can be rounded to 71,429 as the total number of Goodyear employees.
It's the same formula for all situations. For example, if a PD says that the radio station's playlist includes 60 Oldies/Gold songs, which is 15% of the total playlist, how many songs are in the total list?
What is the math trick to multiply two numbers that end in 5? You know, like 15 x 15, 25 x 25, 35 x 35, and so on. - Anonymous
Anon: OK, follow me now . . . Let’s use 15 x 15 as an example.
First, when you have multiply two numbers that end in 5, the last two numbers will always be 25. So with our example, you know the last two numbers are 25. Write that down. Then, to get the first number (or numbers), multiply 1 (the first number of 15) times the next highest number, which is 2. That gives you "2." Write that down before the 25 you just wrote down. Your answer is 225.
25 x 25? = 2 x 3 = 6 and 25, or 625.
35 x 35? = 3 x 4 = 12 and 25, or 1225.
45 x 45? = 4 x 5 = 20 and 25, or 2025.
And one more…
55 x 55? = 5 x 6 = 30 and 25, or 3025.
Got it? You should now be able to do (without writing anything down), 65 x 65, 75 x 75, 85 x 85, and 95 x 95.
Doc: My wife is a math teacher
and she heard about a video about math where the person does some amazing math
tricks, particularly multiplying numbers. I can't find it on the Internet.
Would you happen to know what the video is? - Anonymous
Anon: I'm sure there are many math videos on the Internet, but my guess is this is the one your wife is referring to: click here.
The video is by Dr. Arthur Benjamin, who calls himself a "Mathemagician." The guy is great and I'm sure anyone will enjoy his video—it's not necessary to like math problems. He's amazing.
If you want more information about Art Benjamin, click here.
Math: What is a Prime Number?
What is a prime number? – Jim
Jim: A prime number is an integer greater than one that can be divided only by itself and 1. The first six prime numbers are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and 13. Some mathematicians spend a lot of time trying to figure out the largest prime number. I don’t know why, but then the mathematicians probably wonder why radio people spend so much time trying to figure out how often to play the songs on their playlist.
So the Mayan calendar ends on
12/12/2012. What are your thoughts on preparing for the end of the world as we
know it, or are we all going to be OK? - Anonymous
Anon: As you probably know, there is a great deal of information about this topic on the Internet—click here.
My thoughts? I think that the Mayans weren't the only people to forecast the end of the world. It seems as though a person or a group comes up with this idea at least once each year. The problem with all these predictions is that the world is still here.
What I don't understand is why anyone thinks that the Mayans had some type of super intelligence. They were people just like us and their predictions about the end of the world on 12/12/2012 are no different than any other person or group who has predicted the same thing. All other predictions of the end of the world were wrong and the Mayan prediction will be the same.
However, if you give any credence to the Mayan prediction, then I would say you should prepare by doing a bunch of stuff on 12/11/2012. But don't do anything illegal because you'll still be here on 12/13/2012 and beyond.
When I look at the radio station playlists on Mediabase, there is a column called “Arbitron Audience—Reach/Mill.” What does this mean and how do they get the results? That is, what’s the formula to get the numbers? Thanks. - Anonymous
Anon: To make sure that I had the correct answer, I sent your question to Rich Meyer, President of Mediabase Research. Rich has helped me several times in the past and I’d like to thank him once again for his help. He said:
“The ‘Arbitron Audience—Reach/Mill’ (‘mill’ is short for ‘million’) is the Metro AQH plus spill AQH, calculated by daypart, M-F, or Sat-Sun, times each spin. (Spill is the total audience recorded for a radio station. For example, if WLS in Chicago shows up in a book in Oklahoma City, that AQH would count too. The number is the sum of all metro Arbitron numbers for each radio station. If Z100 shows up in NYC, Nassau-Suffolk, Philadelphia, and Trenton, NJ books, all of those metro numbers added together make up their AQH, even if some are beyond TSA (or DMA).
Here is an example to demonstrate how ‘Arbitron Audience—Reach/Mill’ is computed:
Assume that WAAA-FM had an AQH (metro plus spill) of:
Let’s say WAAA-FM played Song X once per daypart. The reach for that one station, for that song, would be 36,000 total per day. If WAAA-FM played the song all week, assuming the station’s AQH was the same on the weekend as it was during the week, the total week would be 36,000 x 7 (252,000 or .252 mill for that one station).”
In other words, to rephrase what Rich said, the “Reach/Mill” is an estimate of the number of AQH persons potentially exposed to the song—reported in millions.
Mediabase 24/7 Follow-Up
Thanks for your answer about Mediabase. It is very interesting and I never thought about that. It looks like a good tool for me. One more question regarding the “Reach/Mill.” When you say, “Let’s say WAAA-FM played Song X once per daypart. The reach for that one station, for that song, would be 36,000 total per day. If WAAA-FM played the song all week, assuming the station’s AQH was the same on the weekend as it was during the week, the total week would be 36,000 x 7 (252,000 or .252 mill for that one station).” My question is: What if Song X was played only twice a day, or 10 times a day? How do I calculate that “Reach/Million” figure? - Anonymous
Anon: You’re welcome for the answer, which was provided by Rich Meyer, president of Mediabase. Rich has always been very gracious in helping me answer questions. Now on to your new questions.
To compute the “Reach/Mill” figure, you need to multiply the number of spins times the AQH for the daypart in which the song was played. If Song X were played twice, you need to add the AQH for each of the dayparts when the song played. The same thing goes for a song played 10 times in a day. For example, if the song were played two times in each of the five dayparts (see Rich Meyer’s answer below), you would multiply each daypart times two and then add those numbers together. (If the song were played 10 times in one daypart, you would simply multiply the AQH for that daypart times 10.)
Why is the strip of concrete (or whatever) in a street called a "median?" - Anonymous
Anon: Oh, let’s see . . . probably because the definition of the word "median" is "middle." In statistics, the median is the score that divides the data set into two equal groups—50% of the data is above the median and 50% is below. The median of a highway or street is the place that divides the area into two equal parts—50% of the highway is on one side and 50% is on the other side. It’s also the area that you’re not supposed to drive on, a fact that has been challenged several times by my youngest son, Buckwheat.
Medical 1-10 Pain Scale
Doc: I have been to doctors in
the past few years with different types of pain, and the doctors always ask me
to rate the amount of pain I’m experiencing on a scale of 1 to 10, where “10”
represents severe pain (or something like that). My question is…Do doctors
compare my rating to some type of standard, or how is that used? - FS
FS: You’ll notice that I edited your question and deleted the specific pain situations you experienced in the past few years. I think the specific situations are personal and don’t need to be included here. I hope that’s OK with you. On to your question . . .
Medical doctors use a 1-10 pain scale rating to get a subjective analysis from the patient about how much pain the patient is experiencing. If a patient’s pain rating is on the low end, maybe 1-5, the doctor knows that the patient is hurting, but not terribly (from the patent’s perspective). If a patient’s pain rating is high, the doctor knows the patient is experiencing a lot of discomfort. And that’s all that matters. There is no need to compare a patient’s pain rating to anything because a doctor is only interested in the patient’s perspective about the pain. If a patient’s pain rating is a “10,” the doctor knows immediately that the patient is hurting badly – a comparison to any type of standard is irrelevant.
The 1-10 pain rating scale is also helpful to doctors once treatment for the pain has been performed. For example, if a patient’s initial pain rating was a “9,” and then drops to a lower rating after the treatment, the doctor knows that the treatment is/was successful.
In summary, medical doctors don’t need to compare patients’ pain ratings to any type of standard because they are interested only in an individual patient’s perception of the pain.
A friend of mine who knows you mentioned that you are a Mended Hearts volunteer. My father is going to have open-heart surgery in a few days and I’d like to find out about the organization. Please don’t use my name, but please post your answer in your column. - Anonymous
Anon: I’m always curious about how information gets around, but your friend is correct. I am an accredited member of Mended Hearts. As you may know, I had open-heart surgery on May 14, 2002. The Mended Hearts volunteers who visited me impressed me so much that I decided to join the organization.
What is it? Here is what the opening statement says on the Mended Hearts website:
Mended Hearts, a national nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Heart Association, has been offering the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers for more than 50 years. Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, Mended Hearts partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics and offers services to heart patients through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums.
Because Mended Hearts is made up of the very kinds of people it serves—heart patients, their families, and others impacted by heart disease, its members draw on personal experience as they help others. Mended Hearts support groups help people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after heart disease. Members listen, share their experiences, learn from healthcare professionals, and volunteer to talk to other heart patients about what they may face including lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, and treatment. Annually, Mended Hearts volunteers make 227,000 hospital visits to patients and 30,000 visits to family members and caregivers.
You can see the Mended Hearts website by clicking here: Mended Hearts.
Good luck to your dad. If he would like to talk to me about his operation, please tell him to call me at my office. I’ll spend as much time with him as he needs.
I have two questions:
1. Can “repressed” memories really be recovered? Something happened in my family 10 years ago, and although I was there, I can barely remember the details. Any non-kooky way to bring that information to the front of my brain?
2. I’ve heard that the different colors we wear communicate different things about us to others. Like, if my tie were red it would be a “power tie” and indicate to others that I’m in control. So, if I were to wear a non-power color, like sky blue, would those around me be less likely to respect my position? - Anonymous
Anon: Interesting questions. Let’s see here…
1. Recovering repressed memories is a phenomenon often associated with child abuse, or other traumatic childhood experience. A typical way to “recover” these memories is through hypnosis, where a person is hypnotized and suddenly remembers all sorts of things that happened when he/she was very young.
If you read articles or books on this subject, you’ll find many problems with the hypnosis approach. The primary one is the hypnotist asking leading questions. When you are hypnotized, you aren’t sleeping—you are awake and aware of your surroundings. If I hypnotized you and said something like, “I want to take you back to when you were 5 years old. What can you tell me about the time you stole candy from the grocery store?” Or something like that.
In other words, I could consciously or unconsciously lead you to “remembering” a situation that never happened. Much has been written about people who suddenly remember childhood experiences. In many cases, adults “remember” things that are suggested to them by others—things that never happened.
I checked several sources for a “non-kooky” ways to remember things from your childhood and can’t find any legitimate methods. The only thing I can suggest that doesn’t involve some psychological “mumbo-jumbo” is to talk to other members of your family to find out if they can help you. However, you also have to be careful here because your family members might not remember exactly what happened and they may “plant” images or experiences that never happened.
There is much debate about what human beings store in our brains. Do our brains actually store every experience, or is this a myth? Why do we remember some things and forget other things?
I don’t know what you’re trying to recall from your childhood, but ask a few relatives for help. Make sure they don’t lead you into believing something that never happened. If they didn’t directly experience the events you’re trying to recall, then don’t rely on them for help. Ask only relatives who were there or experienced the same event(s).
2. Colors communicate messages? I imagine that there is some credibility to the notion that colors create moods, feelings, and convey certain messages. The problem I have is finding good research to support these ideas.
In reference to your “power tie” example, I’m not sure if there is good scientific information about messages conveyed by a tie, or if the concept is only something generated by the media, clothes consultants, or someone who made a bunch of red ties and had to find a way to sell them.
I may be wrong, but my memory is that the “power tie” thing began with President Clinton or some other government official. I recall TV reporters and others commenting about the messages communicated by the red ties many officials were wearing (as opposed to the typically boring apparel usually worn by politicians).
You can believe the “power idea” if you want to, but I have a feeling that the “power” generated is created by the person wearing the tie. In other words, the person creates the “power,” the tie doesn’t.
Humans are very susceptible to believing almost anything they hear or see. If enough people say the same thing (“power” = red tie), then the assumption (urban legend or myth) becomes reality for many people. This is especially true with fashion because the fashion industry needs to sell clothes. My guess is that if you wear a sky blue tie and act like a dork (or something), the dorky behavior will become associated with sky blue ties. If you wear a red tie and act in a formal, professional manner, then the red tie is associated with that behavior.
I know many people say, “clothes make the person” and there may be some truth to that if you compare one person who wears torn jeans and a sweatshirt to a person who wears a tuxedo or formal dress. However, I do believe there is some truth to the idea that “a person makes the clothes.” You are what you are and clothes won’t change you into something you’re not.
If you think a red tie will communicate some sort of “power,” then wear a red tie. If not, then don’t worry about the color and be yourself.
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