Saturday, February 18, 2017

Research Webinar Takes Peek At Radio's Future

Where is radio today, and where are listening levels headed in the future? Those are the big questions Alan Burns Associates addressed in Thursday’s webinar in which we and partners Strategic Solutions Research released the first set of data from “What Women Want – 2017.”

According to Nielsen RADAR data, radio's decline in cume and AQH rating, along with TSL, slowed in 2014 and may have stopped - or perhaps merely paused - in 2016. Where do we go from here? Will it be stability or just a slower slide?  According to a post in the Burns Radio blog, the answer is in the hands of the radio industry – not pureplay streaming services or automobile manufacturers.

With women, radio's images haven’t changed over the last five years and they are stunningly positive:
  • Women love their favorite radio station at a level that’s comparable to two of the world’s biggest and sexiest brands – Netflix and Amazon – and far more than they love Apple, or streamers like Pandora and Spotify.  
  • They feel understood. More women feel understood by the radio station they listen to most than by two industries that spend millions of dollars trying to understand and predict women: cosmetics and fashion. Amazingly, these women scored their P1 radio station higher than their significant other on “understanding me.”
  • And because they feel understood, they feel that radio station is a good or best friend. And the “best friend” vote is growing.
There are, though, two caution flags on the road, according to Burns/Strategi Solutions. The first is that “radio” now feels dated in comparison with other technologies (and it is; "radio" is almost 100 years old). The second is that young people – especially teens – feel less love and affiliation with radio. Being hyper – savvy technologically, six in 10 of them can easily imagine a day when they won’t need to listen to radio for music. And nearly a quarter of them tell us that that one of the main reasons they listen to radio is because they can’t get Internet in the car.

Radio must embrace new technology like NextRadio FM chip for smartphones. And radio needs to care about what 15 to 19 year-olds are doing and thinking right now.  Even if they aren’t part of your current target, they are a big part of your future.

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