Sunday, March 30, 2008

Issues etc. with the Numbers Game

Recently, a letter was posted on the official LCMS website purporting to explain why Issues etc. was canceled. The reasons, in my opinion, are rather spurious, and as someone is more familiar than most what Internet download numbers mean, I have to address something important concerning the reason by David L. Strand, Executive Director Board for Communication Services on the recent canceling of Issues etc.

Some may also be under a misapprehension about the size of the “Issues” audience. In 2005, station management decided it could no longer justify paying for expensive ratings reports in light of the predictably low and static nature of KFUOAM’s audience numbers. At the time, a blending of the spring 2004 and spring 2005 “books” showed an average listening audience during the “Issues” Monday-Friday timeslot of 1,650. There is no indication these numbers have grown appreciably since.

First of all, Mr. Strand, if you aren't keeping track of the numbers because it's not justifiable in your mind to keep track of the numbers, you shouldn't be saying anything about numbers in the first place. If you don't know what the numbers are, don't talk about what the numbers are.

As for the audio streaming of “Issues, Etc.” via the Internet, the numbers are similarly low. During the last full month (February 2008) for which we have reports, the average number of live, streaming listeners during the “Issues” Monday-Friday timeslot was 64.

That's actually pretty high numbers considering people absolutely have to arrive at the website to access the feed. What should have been happening is the station streaming audio should have been MADE accessible in as many places as possible. Plus, someone should have been looking other popular ways in which streaming media is distributed on the Internet. is a place where many radio stations and shows are broadcasting their content, live as it happens.

Also, are you saying that the people who were calling the show, some regularly, and some not so regularly, were not pretty amazing numbers? Shawn Hannity doesn't get as many callers as Issues etc. did, but he's doing rather well for himself.

Now, I want to address an issue that David Strand didn't even address. Radical Grace Radio lives and breaths by downloads per month. We can find out what are ratings are for on the air if we want to, but I personally have decided not to worry about that until after we've been on the air for at least a year. Pastor Gary and myself frequently check our downloads daily, and lately for a show so new and still relatively unknown, we're posting impressive numbers, especially since it's mostly been word of mouth that drives our numbers. I recently came upon numbers by a friend at Wittenberg trail that shows that Issues etc. was having around 300,000 downloads per month, and that figure was very steady. If we at Radical Grace Radio had one quarter of that right now, we'd be considered a huge success in the secular world. Your average secular radio station doesn't do anywhere near that size of downloads for any given show nor for the most part combined downloads for the entire station!

Again, I have to ask... What's happening here people?


the big test

Since someone, somewhere, has seen fit to deprive the world of Issues etc and take a huge bite out of confessional Lutheranism at the same time, I will not take up the mantle of working to see that those who did it answer for their actions.
Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms