Home > Cellphone-only households, Ratings > Why CPO Households Matter

Why CPO Households Matter

What you don’t know about cellphone-only households in your market can hurt you. Especially if you don’t know how many of these households your ratings company is sampling.

We just completed a strategic study in a major Canadian market where 31% of 18-49 year-old radio listeners said they lived in a cellphone-only household (sample size: 1,000, using a market representative online sample).  And, despite BBM claims to the contrary, CPO households varied sharply by format. From 43% among the cume for an alternative-leaning station to 35% for the cume of the market-leading CHR  station and 29% for that of a local Hot AC.  Yes, age plays a role, but notably, only 3 years separated the average age of the cume listeners to the three stations. (Note: the proportion of cellphone-only households in Canada is generally considered lower than it is in most Western countries.)

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  1. johnmus
    July 31, 2011 at 01:12

    The same is true in Australia as landlines into homes continue to fall rapidly. The up side to this for research, I believe, is it forces us to go to an individual, person to person approach for our research. With an even quicker rise in the adoption of smartphones and the “app” market, these CPO homes aren’t harder to reach, but possibly easier. We’ve built very healthy databases over the last years and are now encouraging those members to download our new “survey app” so that they can do their weekly music/tracking research while commuting, having lunch etc. I guess it’s still important for some broadcast media to be concerned about household penetration, but even TV in the USA is having to change it’s approach to this are more and more people are viewing TV on mobile devices. Maybe the focus on “one to one” research might be a better way to approach the future.

  2. July 31, 2011 at 04:25

    Nice pov on this, John. When you start thinking “cellphone-only people” instead of “cellphone-only households,” the challenges facing standard RDD phone surveys get even greater. Increasingly, the future of research (radio too?) appears to be mobile.

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