Thursday, February 23, 2017

Country 2017 Roadmap: Radio Satisfaction Is Up

Topline results from its Roadmap 2017 were presented Wednesday morning By Mike O’Malley and Becky Brenner at the company’s 23rd annual Pre-CRS meeting. This year 11,742 country listeners from the US and Canada shared their music opinions and preferences, social and media consumption, feedback on their local stations, and more.

Station Satisfaction is up with opinions on Music Flat.  Takeaways from the presentation:
  • Looking mostly at 18-54 data, 77% of US respondents and 72% of Canadian respondents reported being “very satisfied” with their country station. This is a slight increase for US stations and a slight decrease for Canadian stations. 18-34s propelled the US increase.
  • Regarding country music over the past 12 months, 79% of US respondents and 88% of Canadian respondents felt country was “as good” or “better” than last year.  For US respondents, this represents a flattening out of declining trend (-1% this year) while the score for Canadian participants was up a percentage point halting a two-year decline.
  • Reasons for thinking this year’s music was “better” include “upbeat,” “new artists,” and “relatable lyrics.”
  • A&O&B report that 96% of the US sample and 93% of the Canadian sample own smartphones with 52% saying they used their cell phone “a lot more” this past year.
  • Texting followed surfing the web and making calls were the top three activities the panel reported doing “every day or nearly every day.” 
“There was a big increase over last year in the percent of respondents who are members of a station’s text club and about an equal number who indicated an interest in joining,” said partner Mike O’Malley.

Finally, listeners reported more frequent interaction with their country station this past year.  Partner Becky Brenner noted that interaction with their country stations rose.  “Facebook was the primary source, however, Instagram grew significantly and Facebook live had an impressive debut.  Meanwhile, Snapchat’s daily use continues to increase – now at roughly 30%.  However, only 9% of listeners report following a station on that platform. “

Dan Anstasndig
Also attending the Pre-CRS Seminr was Big Machine Lael Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta, Futuri CO Daniel Anstandig, Spotify Global Editor/Country John Marks.  There was also a panel discussion"Producing The Magic" panel consisting of "Ty, Kelly & Chuck" Executive Producer Glenn Johnson, Silverfish Media PD Patrick Thomas and A&O&B Producer/Show Prep Dan Van.

Anstandig presented information regarding utilizing all three "microphones" at your station -- on-air, digital, and social. Topics included the importance of station apps, utilization and implementation of social strategies, and the future of digital as it relates to radio.

John Marks
Marks addressed the crowd by combining his background in terrestrial programming with his more recent career journies at both SiriusXM and Spotify to explain the appeal of Pure Play services.

He enouraged radio attendees to consider the usage of Pure Play systems in their programming, as it relates to finding songs and artists that are already popular and appealing to their audience. Marks also urged radio to keep pace with Pure Play services by offering music discovery and pushing songs out of overnight categories to find hits quicker and propelling passion projects to the forefront of the music mix.

Scott Borchetta
Scott Borchetta touched on the topic of performance rights as it pertains to radio and radio's digital delivery methods. He reminded attendees that digital and social are important in branding for stations just as it is in branding for artists, and he echoed Marks' sentiments regarding finding passion projects and supporting artists and songs that strike a chord and make sense for your market.

Borchetta also spoke about the formula -- or lack thereof -- for finding and developing raw talent, stating that it never happens the same way twice. Emphasis, he said, should be placed on finding stars -- both artists and on-air personalities -- who change the feeling in the room with their presence.

BMLG Records artist Ryan Follese entertained attendees with songs from his current EP, including "Float Your Boat," "Put A Label On It," "One Thing Right," and "Wilder."

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