Cities on the Move: Nielsen's New DMA Rankings and Why they Matter
It's that time of year again - when Nielsen Media Research updates the DMA rankings. A designated market area (DMA), also referred to as a media market, is a region of the United States that is used to define television and radio markets. There are a total of 210 DMAs covering the whole United States and these are defined based on metropolitan areas, with suburbs and outlying areas combined within a single market.
The Nielsen DMA rank is decided by the number of TV homes per market and the associated percentage of the US that they reach. For example the #1 market, New York City, has 6.8 million homes representing 6.3% of the US, whereas market #210 "Glendive, Montana" has just over 3,600 homes representing .003% of the US.
Nielsen lists the total number of TV homes for this new TV season at 107,007,910, a drop of 2.9% from last season's 110,244,650 (those numbers don't include broadband-only homes). Released just before network sweeps every year, there were some notable changes in the top 20 markets in this year's update:
San Francisco moved up one spot, from 7 to 6, with 2,364,740 homes, Washington dropped one, from 6 to 7 (2,351,930), Houston moved down from 7 to 8 (2,330,180), Phoenix climbed one to No. 11 (1,879,780), Tampa-St. Petersburg slipped one to 12 (1,800,600).
The biggest change overall was a 10 slot rise by Youngstown, Ohio from 125 last year to 115. The largest drop was nine slots by both Toledo, Ohio (from 71 to 80), and Chattanooga, Tenn. (from 83 to 92).
Knowing the specific region of the country you want to penetrate by its media market ranking is an invaluable resource for PR practitioners. Often, ‘top markets' are desired for media coverage if your goal is mass exposure. Many campaigns, however, can benefit from conducting outreach to secondary markets to some of the larger DMAs, which can often be harder to penetrate. For example – if your campaign is focused on the San Francisco Bay Area, your outreach might focus just on San Francisco proper, which is ranked 8th in the nation. Another entry point to reaching San Franciscans is pitching your story to the surrounding media markets including Sacramento, which is just an hour and half from San Francisco or to outlets in Chico-Redding, Reno and Fresno – all of which are a little over 3 hours from San Francisco. By considering the surrounding areas you not only expand your potential for coverage, but you open the story to a wider audience who most likely spend time in the nearby major city of San Francisco.
Link to Nielsen's full list: here
ABOUT THE EXPERT: Alyson Heller
Alyson is a hard-working PR professional with 20 years' experience under her belt. A graduate of Rider University, she has worked with numerous high-profile clients on getting them the ROI their brand deserves. Outside the office, her kids, the beach and heavy metal music are her passions.
MultiVu, a Cision/PR Newswire division, produces and places compelling content strategically across multiple channels globally to deliver targeted results and drive desired engagement. Created in 2002 from network news veterans and media relations professionals, MultiVu has grown into a content creation and media strategy company, leading in the broadcast communications industry. More information can be found on www.multivu.com.