That could change if the industry as a whole stops ignoring the demo that’s playing a big role in how their parents listen to music. Edison Research made a presentation at the Country Radio Seminar, Thursday, that should have every program director, manager, and owner very concerned.
“Spotify changed my life.” That was a quote from a parent in the 25-54 “money” demo in the Edison presentation. At first the parent was reluctant to listen to her teenager who was pushing Spotify. However, when she gave in, she agreed. Spotify was a whole new musical world for her.
And that was the theme for the entire presentation.
Teens are having more of an influence on how their parents listen to music than ever before. And as Edison Research President pointed out, the Spotifys, Pandoras, and SiriusXMs of the digital audio world have absolutely no connection to the local community, and that is most concerning. They simply don’t care about radio’s number one strength.
Over half of the nearly 2,000 parents in the Edison Research study say their kids have
made it easier for them to use music apps. Teens are pulling their parents toward streaming music apps and away from their established habits. Edison’s Megan Lazovick said, “Radio needs to educate teens and give them the content that they want.”
When teens were asked to explain what FM radio is, here were some of their responses:
– Why would I sit through a ton of ads? The music I like is on my phone.
– I never listen. I plug in my phone to listen to my own music.
– Why would I listen to a song I don’t want to listen to? I have Spotify.
– FM radio is for people “your age.”
The fact is it’s getting easier and easier to listen to music on smartphones, even in the automobile. These kids have basically grown up with cell phones in their hands. And, parents often turn to the younger generation to understand the technology. So it should come as no surprise that kids are influencing their parents more when it comes to music listening, especially when parents are always looking for ways to bond with their kids when they are teens.
Many in the radio industry believe that teens grow up, become adults, enter the 25-54 demo, and turn to radio as working adults. With the amount of time they spend on devices from the time they are able, you have to ask yourself, do you really believe that will happen with this generation of teens?