Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Majority of Country Radio Listeners Unaware of Morgan Wallen Ban

Country star Morgan Wallen has been suspended indefinitely from his label and saw his music pulled by radio stations, streaming services, Sirius XM and CMT on February 3, after a video surfaced of him shouting a racial slur. Yet, only 18% of Country radio listeners say they are aware his music has been removed from the airwaves and are split on the ban according to a new study from P1 Media Group.

Key Findings:

  • One week after the ban began, only 18% of Country radio listeners are aware of the industry ban removing Morgan Wallen’s music from Country radio stations, streaming services, CMT and Sirius XM. 
  • 18-24s are more aware of Morgan Wallen’s comments and negative publicity than 25-54s.
  • 18-24s find Morgan Wallen and his music less appealing than older Country listeners, which is likely driven by the higher awareness of his controversial outburst among 18-24s.
  • 18-24s are much more likely to say their opinion of him has changed for “the worse” over the past few months
  • 18-24s are as likely as other age groups to say the banning of his music is “too severe” of a punishment.
  • Country radio listeners are split on the Ban. 26% of the Total Sample said Country Radio should “discontinue the ban of Wallen Morgan’s music immediately” vs 16% who say the ban should “continue indefinitely.”
  • The sample does agree on the course of action Morgan Wallen should take:  66% say “he should make a public apology, take steps to understand how his words were hurtful and change his behavior.”

“It’s remarkable how few Country radio listeners were aware of Morgan Wallen’s music being removed from Country radio one full week after the ban began, signifying Country radio has not communicated its position on Morgan Wallen with its listeners” said Ken Benson, co-Founder and Partner, P1 Media Group. “The sample overwhelmingly agreed on the course of action Morgan Wallen should take, but what role can radio actively play in leading the national conversation on racism?"

P1 Media Group conducted the online survey on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, one week after the ban began. We sampled 200 18-54-year-old Country radio listeners in PPM markets. Participants were required to be Country radio listeners. One hundred percent of the sample were familiar with Country Artist Morgan Wallen.

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