Radio’s Glass is Half Full…But leaking

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That was the conclusion from consultant Alan Burns and Strategic Solutions EVP Hal Rood. Thursday afternoon Burns and Rood hosted their first of four webinars to unveil the research they’ve been conducting on women and the reasons they do, or do not, listen to radio. The top reason they do listen is to escape or improve their mood. Two reasons they do not: they enjoy curating their own music and, too many commercials.

Burns says women still love the radio station they listen to most (58% love, 96% love or like) and in most areas, radio’s images are very consistent with his data from five years ago. “They still feel like their P1 radio station is a good or even best friend (76%), and the ‘best friend’ vote has actually grown to around one in five women.”

The national study of 2,000 15-54 year-old women found two areas of concern for radio, according to Rood. “Just over half (53%) of all women agreed that they could foresee a day when they might not need radio for music, and almost six in ten (58%) agreed that ‘radio is kind of old.’ “Technologically, radio is feeling dated in the context of all the digital choices out there, and needs to work on that.”

The other concern is some weakness with the youngest consumers. According to the study, nearly half (48%) of all women who don’t listen to radio are ages 15 to 24, and almost 1 in 4 (23%) of the teens who do listen gave “I can’t get the internet in the car” as one of the top three reasons they still listen. “There are definite bright spots for radio with 15-24s, though,” noted Burns. “The vast majority (90%) like radio, radio has higher ‘love’ scores than Pandora, Apple, or Spotify, and more than eight out of ten 15-24s (82%) look forward to listening and would be disappointed if they couldn’t.”

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