Monday, March 23, 2020

Radio Needs To Be The “Work From Home Station”

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended listeners' lifestyles and very likely their terrestrial radio listening along with it, according to NuVoodoo Research (See the latest results of their  Coronavirus tracking study here)

NuVoodo VP/Marketing Mike O'Connor writes past webinars have broken out in great detail how much upside there has been for radio stations focusing on full-time workers at their place of business during normal times. "When we look at the top quin-tiles of daily listening duration and occasions across the week, the average-quarter hours that could be racked up as the result of such efforts were staggering."

According to O'Connor, left unaddressed, the possibility for a listening sea-change among full-time workers is quite real.

"According to our recent Ratings Prospect Study, while the appetite for audio entertainment during the workday remained at an all-time high among working age adults 25-44, the pre-crisis trend toward digital alternatives was already a significant headwind for terrestrial radio’s at-work listenership. Only when we parsed our nationwide survey data to include the subset of workday audio consumers likely to participate in the radio ratings were we able to identify a very narrow edge for terrestrial radio over online digital audio competition."

O'Connor continues with workers either displaced to the home office or worse yet, out of a job altogether, radio’s workday AQH windfall is in jeopardy, even despite Nielsen’s methodological skew in radio’s favor.

He offers several opportunities for radio:
  • During this period of self-imposed home quarantine, work hard to be your market’s “Work From Home Station” and sell the alternative ways of consuming your brand.
  • Make your “work from home” positioning synonymous with Smart Speakers. They’re in the lives of six in ten 18–54 year-olds and seven in ten of likely ratings respondents according to our January national study. Pre-crisis, 40% of Smart Speaker owners claimed to listen to terrestrial stations regularly on their devices, and among smart speaker owners willing to participate in the ratings, the percentage listening to terrestrial simulcasts on a regular basis jumped to 60% of our sample. Now that we’re in unprecedented times, the potential for smart speaker TSL spikes from the home office during the workday is high for work-from-home stations willing to clock in with the audience daily.
  • Your brand is one click away on your listeners' smartphones, computers or tablets, and that’s a big deal. More than half of all “PPM Yes” and “Diary Yes” types in our study reported having listened at-work to a terrestrial brand online or downloaded a station app within the past week when we asked in January. About a third of this ratings vulnerable group, who reported listening to AM/FM brands on the job during the workday, actually chose the streaming simulcast over the legacy AM/FM broadcast. The proportion choosing digital sources while working from home is likely to increase significantly now that employee life as we know it has changed. 
The initial shock at the prospect of long-term home confinement will likely evolve to begrudging acceptance as reality sets in. Stations which engage the audience off-air and create listening occasions during the workday are the ones likely to emerge with shares intact.

NuVoodoo continues tracking the opinions of around 3,000 radio listeners around the country each day to determine what content is essential for radio stations to embrace.

NuVoodoo will provide updated findings and a deeper dive into what it means for radio during today's webinar at 2pm Eastern. Interested stations can participate in today's webiner by signing-up here.

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