Radio = LOCAL

Larry Rosin of Edison Research made a powerful point in his presentation at this year’s Country Radio Seminar –  radio’s brand is LOCAL.  And he stated that “Voice-tracking and nationalization are…a disaster for the radio industry.” I agree with his premise and his conclusion, but wanted to know what listeners think…

So we completed 718 telephone interviews with 18-64′s in the U.S. at the beginning of this month. First, we tested the basic premise: Is radio’s brand local?  We asked:

Now think about media – TV, radio, newspapers, the internet and so on. Some media are mainly local – focused on serving one city or town – while others are mainly national – focused on the serving the entire country.  

In your opinion, is RADIO a mainly local or a mainly national medium?

LOCAL 65%  .
NATIONAL 32%
Don’t know/Refused     .   3%

Local has it…two to one over national.  And, from a demographic perspective, this perception is across the board. Men, women, 18-24′s through 55-64′s…they’re all in the 60% range seeing radio as LOCAL, first and foremost.

So is the nationalization of radio  – the move by mega-groups (notably, Clear Channel and Cumulus) to roll out the same programming across their markets — bad for the industry? To explore this possibility, we next asked those who see radio as mainly local how a shift toward national programming would impact their listening:

If a local station you listen to switched to focusing more on national programming rather than local programming, do you think you would listen to it MORE or LESS than you do now?

MORE 31%  .
LESS 51%
Wouldn’t matter 14%
Don’t know/Refused     .   3%

(Percentages among those who think radio is mainly local.)

Response to this question does vary by age cell, with 18-24′s the exception. By a small margin, more of them say a move toward more national programming  would make them more interested in listening:

18-24  . 25-34  . 35-44  . 45-54  . 55-64  .
MORE 43% 34% 26% 30% 24%
LESS 36% 53% 50% 54% 60%
Wouldn’t matter 20%   9% 21% 14% 10%
Don’t know/Refused   .   1%   4%   2%   1%   1%

Now, keep in mind that what listeners think they’ll do given a hypothetical situation isn’t necessarily what they would do…that’s a limitation of research. And there are other factors involved…for example, what if the national programming in question happens to be very appealing to them???

Still, what this research does do is tap into bedrock perceptions and attitudes, which totally support Rosin’s contention that radio means local to most, and that the nationalization of radio does hurt the industry. After all,  a third (51% of 65%) of 18-64′s think radio is mainly local and say they’d listen less if it’s not!

Radio Lags As “First Responder”

Where would you go first for information in times of emergency? For me, it’s radio.  When the power’s out, no problem…it’s battery powered. When we’re in the basement bathroom waiting for the tornado to pass, there’s no TV in there…there’s radio.  For me, it’s radio. Then again, I’m a “radio guy”! But I’m also a research guy, so consumers can set me straight…

And they did.  In a telephone survey of 707 18-64′s in the U.S.(conducted 2/26-3/1), we asked them:

Let’s talk about sources of information about emergencies that could affect a local community – like severe weather, flooding, power outages, gas leaks, chemical spills, fires, tainted water supplies and major accidents. Where would you go to FIRST for information in the event of an emergency? Would you turn to…

We then read six choices: AM or FM radio? The internet? Newspapers? Smartphone apps? TV? Or some other source of information? And we rotated the first five to avoid order bias.

We found that radio soundly trounces…newspapers, at 0%!  (It’s hard to keep up with tornadoes in the paper, I’m sure ;) ) But radio is well behind TV and behind the internet as well:

 .
TV 37%
Internet 25%
AM or FM Radio  17%
Smartphone Apps          . 13%     .
Police/Fire/911    2%
Other   4%
Don’t know/Refused      .   1%

Demographically, we find a huge divide between 18-44′s and 45-64′s, but relative to TV and new tech, not radio. Half of 45-64′s would turn first to TV, while only 28% of 18-44′s would. A third of 18-44′s would go to the internet, while only 14% of 45-64′s would. And use of smartphone apps among the younger group is almost double that of the older group:

18-44 45-64
TV 28%      . 51%      .
Internet 34% 14%
AM or FM Radio 15% 18%
Smartphone Apps         . 17%   9%
Police/Fire/911   3%   2%
Other   3%   5%
Don’t know/Refused   1%   2%

Radio’s demo divide is based on gender, not age.  Men are more likely to turn to radio during emergencies than women are:

MEN    . WOMEN
TV 35% 41%
Internet 24% 26%
AM or FM Radio 20% 12%
Smartphone Apps        . 13% 14%
Police/Fire/911   2%   2%
Other   3%   4%
Don’t know/Refused   1%   1%

Most likely to turn to radio are 45-64 men…24% say they would go to radio.  But, that’s still half of the 45-54 men that would turn to TV.

I must admit I was surprised that radio isn’t the “go to” for more consumers during an emergency. But I shouldn’t have been…

Two years ago, a tornado bore down on Dexter, Michigan…just 10 miles away from my home in Ann Arbor and moving in our direction. I was in the basement with my daughter and she was giving me constant updates from her classmates on Twitter: Dad, it’s on Huron River Drive. Dad, they can see it from Walnut Ridge! Dad, it’s at Baker Road!!!

I turned on our local “community” station and all it had to offer was a Talk radio blowhard from more than a thousand miles away, and even further from our very real concerns at that moment.

So it’s not so hard to understand, is it? At a time with more competition than ever, too many stations have cut and cut and cut personnel until there’s no one in the stations who can serve their communities when they’re needed most. And we see the results.

Yes, Listeners DO Care About Radio!

We’ve heard all the doomsayers. “Listeners don’t care about radio,” “Millennials hate radio,” “Pandora will kill radio as we know it,” etc.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

We’ve seen how wrong in previous ListenerThink research — like our Fall P1 study, when we found that radio delivers emotional benefits to listeners beyond music, news, sports, etc., and when 70% agreed that if they couldn’t listen to radio, something very important would be missing from their lives.

Now, we’re looking at listeners’ engagement with radio from another angle…not what would happen if radio went away altogether, but on a more specific basis — what happens when a station they like changes.

What brought this to mind was my own work — research that guides stations to better ratings, sometimes requiring dramatic format changes. Most recently, a client changed format from one that excelled among 45-and-older listeners to one that focuses on 18-44′s.  There was a major emotional backlash among those left behind, who went online to express feelings like: “I am so upset,” “I’m in mourning,” “This is a blow…very depressing,” and some even threatening bodily harm to station execs! 

So, in an online survey we conducted last month among 1009 18-64 year olds in the U.S., we asked how much they agree or disagree with the statement:

It upsets you when a station you like changes format.  
AGREE STRONGLY 44%
AGREE SLIGHTLY 40%
DISAGREE SLIGHTLY 11%
DISAGREE STRONGLY   5%
Don’t know   0%

Dig it…an overwheming majority of 18-64′s agree that a format change would upset them, even if it’s only on a station they like…not necessarily their favorite. Close to half agree strongly!

From a demographic perspective, 35-44′s agree the most…89% 0f them agree, 55% agree strongly. By age, 18-24′s agree least, but even then, 80% agree, 32% strongly. Most indifferent are 18-24 men…still, 70% agree, 26% strongly! From a format perspective, the P1′s of Oldies/Classic Hits stations (89% agree, 61% strongly) and Rock stations (89% agree, 59% strongly) would be most upset when a station they like changes format.

Think listeners don’t care??? Think again.

Pandora: Yeah, it’s For Real

So far this week, we’ve seen that Millennials’ attitude toward FM radio is quite positive. Their attitude toward AM — not nearly as positive — at least isn’t negative. All in all, our research on Millennials reveals that their attitude toward traditional radio is much better than “doomsayers” think it is.

But radio is no longer the “center of the audio universe”…it faces numerous challengers. In last week’s online research among Millennials, we studied four of them — iHeartRadio,  iTunes Radio, Pandora and Sirius/XM…

At the top: Pandora…39% of Millennials “love it,” edging FM’s 37%. Pandora does have a higher percentage that don’t know (10% versus FM’s 1%) but then, FM has a many-decades  “head start”! Given its lower awareness, the fact that four in ten Millenials love Pandora is very impressive:

How do you feel about Pandora?            .
LOVE IT 39%
LIKE IT 26%
DISLIKE IT   5%
HATE IT   1%
Neither like nor dislike it 19%
Don’t know 10%

Next up: Sirius/XM. Even though it, too, has a head start over Pandora, it has a higher don’t know percentage…understandable, since it requires a paid subscription (or a new car):

How do you feel about Sirius/XM?         .
LOVE IT 26%
LIKE IT 22%
DISLIKE IT   5%
HATE IT   1%
Neither like nor dislike it 27%
Don’t know 19%

iHeartRadio and iTunes Radio score almost identically.  That iTunes Radio performs as well as iHeart — which has been around longer — seems impressive.  But it just may be that some respondents aren’t distinguishing betwen iTunes Radio (which is new) and iTunes (which isn’t):

How do you feel about iHeartRadio?     .
LOVE IT 19%
LIKE IT 22%
DISLIKE IT   4%
HATE IT   2%
Neither like nor dislike it 32%
Don’t know 21%

 

How do you feel about iTunes Radio?   .
LOVE IT 18%
LIKE IT 24%
DISLIKE IT   6%
HATE IT   3%
Neither like nor dislike it 31%
Don’t know 18%

Given that these challengers have different levels of awareness, how do we compare their scores, with each other and with FM and AM? We do it with mean (average) scores. Here are the means of each kind of “radio” we tested among those who “know” (that is, excluding the “don’t know” responses). Those who are neutral are included in the mean at the midpoint — in this case, 3…between “love” (5) and “hate”(1):

HATE  1———3———5 LOVE   .
How do you feel about…          . 
FM Radio 4.1
Pandora 4.1
Sirius/XM 3.8
iHeartRadio 3.7
iTunes Radio 3.6
AM Radio 3.1

What this tells us is:  Millennials feel just as positively, on average, about Pandora as FM. Whether you see this as good news or bad news depends on your perspective… If you (like me) are a “radio veteran” who can’t possibly see how Pandora could compare to “real” radio, it hopefully makes you (and me) sit up and realize that Pandora is a serious challenger.

On the other hand, if you’re a Millennial yourself, you just might think: “Yeah, what did you expect???

AM…and Millennials???

Of course, Millennials aren’t a target for the vast majority of AM stations! (Radio Disney is a rare exception.) Still, in our study of under-35′s, we  wanted to know what they feel and think about AM…

Based on 303 online interviews conducted last week with 13-34 respondents, AM has more likes than dislikes. But, not surprisingly, Millennials’ affection for AM doesn’t come close to that of FM, and their #1 response is indifference — nearly a third neither like nor dislike AM:

How do you feel about AM radio?     .
LOVE IT   8%
LIKE IT 27%
DISLIKE IT 17%
HATE IT   9%
Neither like nor dislike it 30%
Don’t know   8%

Positive feelings for AM have a male skew (the opposite of FM’s skew)…42% of males either like (31%) or love (11%) AM, while only 29% of females do. Broken out by age groups, the youngest and oldest Millennials share pretty much the identical view of AM.

We asked those who dislike or hate AM: Why?  We did that for FM too, but there weren’t enough “dissing” FM to do an analysis. For AM, there definitely were, and here’s how their comments broke out:

Why do you dislike/hate AM?
TOO MANY/ALL TALK(SHOWS) 32%
BORING 26%
STATIC/FUZZY 19%
HAS NOTHING I’M INTERESTED IN   . 17%
I LIKE MUSIC/AM HAS NONE 10%
DISLIKE ITS MUSIC   7%
ONLY FOR SPORTS   6%
OLD   4%
ALL NEWS/DISLIKE   3%
Other   8%
Don’t know   3%

Millennials’ reasons for disliking (or even hating) AM radio reflect what they think about it. When we asked respondents: What is the very first thing that pops into your mind when you think of AM radio?, their #1 response was  “talk shows” (16%), followed by “boring” (10%), “old/outdated”  (8%), “sports” (7%) and news (7%).

Next, we gave respondents a list of 38 words or phrases and asked them to check all the ones they think describe AM radio. At the top, we again see AM’s downsides among Millennials:  it’s “for older people” (48%), “boring” (41%), “out-of-date” (28%) and “talky” (27%). They do acknowledge some positives, with “informative” (23%) and “local” (19%) the biggest:

FOR OLDER PEOPLE 48%
BORING 41%
OUT-OF-DATE 28%
TALKY 27%
INFORMATIVE 23%
LOCAL 19%
ANNOYING 18%
CARES ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY    . 17%
COOL 14%
TIRED 13%
SERIOUS 12%
INTERESTING 12%
ENTERTAINING 12%
DOWN-TO-EARTH 11%
INTELLIGENT 11%
DUMB 11%
CONTROVERSIAL 10%
FRIENDLY 10%
GETTING WORSE 10%
GETTING BETTER  9%
CARES ABOUT YOU  9%
FUN  9%
CHEERFUL  8%
ENERGETIC  8%
EXCITING  8%
CRUDE  7%
FOR YOUR AGE GROUP  7%
RELAXING  7%
FOR YOUNGER PEOPLE  6%
OVER-COMMERCIALIZED  6%
FUNNY  5%
REPETITIVE  5%
SILLY  5%
SOPHISTICATED  5%
TRENDY  5%
LOUD  3%
SPONTANEOUS  3%
OFFENSIVE  2%

Bottom line: The prognosis for AM radio among Millennials is, unsurprisingly, not encouraging. Still, I don’t find these results entirely negative for AM stations…

For one thing, only around a fourth of Millennials dislike AM. In addition, the biggest reasons for their dislike isn’t about the technical sound of AM…that’s only the #3 reason. The two bigger reasons relate to the programming available on AM…more than anything else, talk shows they’re not interested in.

This does not suggest that Talk AM’s should drop the format!!! But it does suggest other AMs might have an opportunity to deliver unique programming listeners can’t get anywhere else, even programming targeted to Millennials.

Millennials: TheyHeartFM

A few weeks ago, an industry pundit wrote “Millennials…they hate radio.”  Really??? Let’s find out how Millennials feel.

Based on 303 online interviews conducted last week with 13-34 respondents, Millennials don’t hate FM radio. ..not nearly! The vast majority either love it or like it, while a scant 1% hate FM:

How do you feel about FM radio?     .
LOVE IT 37%
LIKE IT 45%
DISLIKE IT   4%
HATE IT   1%
Neither like nor dislike it 12%
Don’t know   1%

Teens are the least enthusiastic about FM…21%  “neither like nor dislike it,” while only 10% of 18-34′s do. Even so, they aren’t any more negative than older Millennials…only 3% of teens dislike FM, only 1% hate it. Females are more positive than males – 45% of them love FM, while 29% of males do .

So that’s how Millennials feel about FM radio.  But what do they think about it?

We looked at FM’s image two ways.  First we asked respondents: What is the very first thing that pops into your mind when you think of FM radio? The #1 response was a specific FM station (19%), #2 was “music.” Nothing very enlightening, except perhaps that only 3% volunteer that FM is “old” or “out-of-date.” The perception of FM as “old tech” isn’t top-of-mind with many Millennials.

Next, we gave respondents a list of 38 words or phrases and asked them to check all the ones they think describe FM radio.  I find the results impressively positive.  At the top of the list, a majority find FM “entertaining,”  But the next-highest are more encouraging….42% of Millennials(!)  consider FM “cool,” 35% recognize its “local-ness.”

Moving down the list,  28% consider FM “for your age group”…well ahead of “for younger people” (19%) or “for older people” (18%). More think FM is “getting better” (22%) than think it’s “getting worse” (12%).  And FM’s biggest overt negative is  “over-commercialized,” which isn’t surprising.  Meanwhile check out all the negatives at the bottom of the list.  What stands out for me is that only 7% check off “out-of-date” as something that describes FM.

This describes FM radio…
ENTERTAINING 53%
COOL 42%
LOCAL 35%
CHEERFUL 35%
ENERGETIC 34%
FUN 33%
FOR YOUR AGE GROUP 28%
FRIENDLY 27%
INTERESTING 26%
CARES ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY     . 25%
EXCITING 24%
OVER-COMMERCIALIZED 23%
FUNNY 22%
GETTING BETTER 22%
REPETITIVE 21%
TRENDY 21%
DOWN-TO-EARTH 19%
FOR YOUNGER PEOPLE 19%
INFORMATIVE 18%
FOR OLDER PEOPLE 18%
CARES ABOUT YOU 16%
RELAXING 16%
TALKY 15%
SILLY 14%
CONTROVERSIAL 14%
ANNOYING 12%
GETTING WORSE 12%
LOUD 9%
SPONTANEOUS 9%
BORING 8%
OUT-OF-DATE 7%
INTELLIGENT 6%
DUMB 6%
SOPHISTICATED 6%
TIRED 5%
SERIOUS 5%
CRUDE 4%
OFFENSIVE 3%

Bottom line: This research reveals that Millennials, as a group, have anything but a negative attitude toward FM! This isn’t to suggest for a second that FM radio doesn’t have challenges going forward…we’ll get to that later this week.  But the idea that radio  is “toast” among younger people is dead wrong.

Now, AM radio?  A different story, as you would expect.  We’ll get to that tomorrow.

Listeners Look in the Mirror

Time to wrap up this year’s ListenerThink P1 research. So far, we’ve looked at what listeners think of radio and what personal needs radio satisfies for them. Now, let’s look at what they think of THEMSELVES…

By understanding how their P1 listeners see themselves, stations can build a stronger bond with them by reflecting that image and attitude right back at them…in advertising, promotions and programming.

Let’s review: This research is based on 989 online interviews conducted last month with 18-64 U.S. radio listeners. In this section of our survey, we listed 54 different words or phrases used to describe people, and we asked respondents to check all of those descriptors that apply to themselves.

We learned (no surprise) that most listeners have a pretty positive view of themselves! Most think of themselves as friendly, down-to-earth and smart/intelligent; fewest consider themselves materialistic, fearful and “party animals.” Here’s the whole list:

FRIENDLY 63% HOMEBODY 35% LIBERAL 19%
DOWN-TO-EARTH 57% CHEERFUL 33% BOLD 18%
SMART 57% OUTGOING 33% IDEALISTIC 17%
INTELLIGENT 54% CONSERVATIVE 32% NEWS JUNKIE 17%
FAMILY-ORIENTED 48% SERIOUS 31% SPONTANEOUS 17%
MUSIC FAN 46% ADVENTUROUS 29% RISK TAKING 15%
OPTIMISTIC 45% SPORTS FAN 29% UNCONVENTIONAL 14%
CAREFUL 44% TASTEFUL 29% FLIRTATIOUS 13%
LOYAL 44% WITTY 29% SEXY 13%
CALM 43% RADIO JUNKIE 28% SOPHISTICATED 13%
FUNNY 43% SARCASTIC 28% REBELLIOUS 11%
WARM 42% SELF-CONSCIOUS 28% IMPULSIVE 10%
CONFIDENT 39% SPIRITUAL 25% HIP   8%
INFORMED 39% A LEADER 24% TRENDY   8%
MOVIE FAN 38% SILLY 23% PARTY ANIMAL   7%
SOCIABLE 38% ENERGETIC 22% FEARFUL   5%
TRUSTING 38% RELIGIOUS 20% MATERIALISTIC   4%
SENSITIVE 37% TOUGH 20%

But wait…there’s more!  The most interesting (and, we think, actionable) aspect is when we compare the P1′s of different formats. Almost all share the same top responses — friendly, smart, down-to-earth. But the ones where they’re highest of the formats or lowest is most telling.  Some are predictable, others surprising…

(Note that the numbers below represent the percentage of each format’s P1 listeners that think each word or phrase describes them. More than one format can be “highest” or “lowest” for a particular word/phrase if they are tied.)

A/C P1’s
#1 self-image: Friendly (74%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Friendly(74%), Warm(54%), Outgoing(39%), Liberal(23%)
Lowest P1’s for: Calm(35%)
Comment: Perhaps they need calming, and A/C serves that need.
Alternative P1’s
#1 self-image: Smart(73%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Smart(73%), Intelligent(68%), Informed(67%), Witty(51%), Sarcastic(50%), Movie Fan(47%), Unconventional(24%),  Liberal(23%)
Lowest P1’s for: Party Animal(0%), Tough(11%), Conservative(21%), Optimistic(31%)
Comment: See themselves as a cut above the common. Play to that self-image (without being too obvious).
CHR P1’s
#1 self-image: Friendly(68%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Sociable(46%), Outgoing(39%), Self-Conscious(38%),
Lowest P1’s for: Unconventional(10%), Idealistic(11%), Intelligent(46%)
Comment: Most concerned with acceptance, belonging. The one format where saying “We’re #1” makes sense.
Christian P1’s
#1 self-image: Spiritual(70%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Spiritual(70%), Family-Oriented(60%), Religious(60%), Optimistic(59%), Loyal(57%), Careful(55%), Sensitive(53%), Tasteful(41%), Idealistic(27%), Fearful(12%)
Lowest P1’s for: Party Animal(0%), Materialistic(0%),  Flirtatious(1%), Risk-Taking(4%), Radio Junkie(6%), Rebellious(6%), News Junkie(7%), Spontaneous(10%), Unconventional(10%), Witty(11%), Adventurous(13%), Silly(16%), Sports Fan(16%), Serious(17%), Sarcastic(24%), Funny(29%)
Comment: On a straight and narrow path to “a better place.”
Classic Rock P1’s
#1 self-image: Friendly(69%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Serious(42%), Party Animal(10%)
Lowest P1’s for: Trendy(2%), Impulsive(2%), Hip(3%), Bold(8%), Movie Fan(22%)
Comment: Has time passed them by??? Not a problem.
Country P1’s
#1 self-image: Friendly(69%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Family-Oriented(60%), Trusting(54%), Homebody(45%), Cheerful(43%)
Lowest P1’s for: Hip(3%), Liberal(11%)
Comment: Family values coming through loud and clear.
News/Talk  P1’s
#1 self-image: Smart(56%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Conservative(50%), News Junkie(37%)
Lowest P1’s for: Sophisticated(7%), Silly(16%), Tasteful(17%), Cheerful(23%),  Music Fan (29%), Family-Oriented(33%), Friendly(39%), Down-to-Earth(45%)
Comment: Definitely different!  Flatter their intelligence.
Oldies/Cl Hits P1’s
#1 self-image: Down-to-Earth(68%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Down-to-Earth(68%), Homebody(45%)
Lowest P1’s for: Silly(16%)
Comment: Best contests prizes? Practical things they can use at home.
Rock P1’s
#1 self-image: Smart(70%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Music Fan(62%), Loyal(57%), Impulsive(15%)
Lowest P1’s for: Fearful(0%), Sexy(5%), Religious(9%)
Comment: No fear! Tap into that self-image with interesting (but safe) contest challenges.
Sports P1’s
#1 self-image: Calm(64%)!
Highest  P1’s  for: Sports Fan(61%), Radio Junkie(28%)
Lowest P1’s for: Energetic(8%), A Leader(9), Self-Conscious(10%), Spontaneous(14%), Sensitive(16%), Spiritual(17%), Tasteful(17%), Outgoing(19%), Trusting(20%), Homebody(21%), Warm(21%), Loyal(29%),  Sociable(29%),  Confident(30%), Family-Oriented(33%)
Comment: Calm??? Really??? Maybe in the “man cave.”
Urban P1’s
#1 self-images: Down-to-Earth(67%), Friendly(67%)
Highest  P1’s  for: Funny(65%), Confident(58%), Adventurous(45%), A Leader (42%), Sexy(37%), Silly(35%), Hip(33%), Tough(32%), Bold(29%), Energetic(29%), Risk-Taking(25%), Trendy(25%), Spontaneous(23%), Flirtatious(22%), Rebellious(13%), Materialistic(11%), Party Animal(10%)
Lowest P1’s for: Informed(32%), Careful(37%), Smart(51%)
Comment: Vibrant and strong…many positive self-images…reflect back to them!

Christian Radio P1′s: It’s Personal

Christian Radio P1′s likely listen for spiritual enlightenment and encouragement most of all. We didn’t explore those motivations in our ListenerThink P1 research, so let’s look at where Christian P1′s stand when it comes to more secular benefits…

Relaxation is Number One. Christian Radio P1′s listen to relax about at much as Country P1′s do — more than listeners as a whole:

RELAX AND UNWIND TOTAL  . CHRSTN P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 46% 53%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT                  .  . 31% 29%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 15% 13%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT   6%   0%
Don’t know   2%   5%

Relaxation is the only motivation that Christian Radio P1 score higher than average. Mostly, they’re average when it comes to the reasons for listening to radio.

But nostalgia — bringing back memories of a past time, place or event — is less of a motivation for Christian Radio P1′s than most. Christian P1′s are also likely to listen “to hear things that make you angry”…we’d expect (and hope) that would be the case!

The motivation where Christian Radio P1′s differ most from average is listening for social reasons — to “add to the fun” when they’re with other people:

ADD TO THE FUN WITH OTHERS          . TOTAL . CHRSTN P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 29% 24%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT 38% 15%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 17% 32%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT 14% 28%
Don’t know   2%   1%

We’ve often heard talk about “having a personal relationship with God.” For Christian P1′s more than other listeners, that personal relationship extends to their radio listening.

Oldies/Classic Hits P1′s: Old Times…Good Times

Sometimes research confirms the obvious. That’s the case with Oldies/Classic Hits P1′s…

Like most listeners, Oldies/Classic Hits P1′s listen more than anything else to get in a better mood and to relax. What makes them different is that they (along with Urban P1′s) are the top nostalgia listeners.  Their listening to “bring back memories of a specfic time, place or event” is well above average:

BRING BACK MEMORIES                      . TOTAL . O/CLH P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 28% 38%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT 34% 37%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 21% 18%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT 14%   5%
 Don’t know   2%   2%

Another way these listeners deviate from average is excitement…that is, they don’t want it much:

GET YOU EXCITED                              . TOTAL . O/CLH P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 25% 18%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT                  .  . 36% 30%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 21% 24%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT 16% 24%
Don’t know   2%   4%

Finally, Oldies/Classic Hits P1′s are less motivated than most when it comes to listening “to hear things that get you thinking” or “to hear what other people are talking or thinking about.”

It’s just “Good Times, Great Oldies”! And skip the intellectual challenges and excitement.

Tomorrow:  Christian

Alternative P1′s: Not “Safe,” but Sound?

It seems to me Alternative is moving more pop lately. For example, Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound”…a good song, but can someone please tell me what makes it Alternative???

“Safe And Sound” is just one of the cuts Alternative shares with CHR. And Alternative P1′s share some important motivations with CHR P1′s…

One is radio’s “mood enhancing” benefit. Yes, each music format’s P1′s, as a group, listen to get in a better mood. But Alt P1′s, like CHR (and Country) P1′s, listen for mood more than most:

 GET YOU IN A BETTER MOOD TOTAL . ALT P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 49% 61%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT                  .  . 32% 30%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 13%   9%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT   4%   0%
Don’t know   3%   0%

And, like CHR P1′s, the Alternatives seek more energy:

GET AN ENERGY BOOST TOTAL . ALT P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 35% 46%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT                  .  . 32% 36%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 19% 16%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT 12%   2%
Don’t know   2%   0%

So what makes Alternative P1′s different from their CHR counterparts?

Alt P1′s are not as interested in “excitement” from radio.

They’re less peer motivated. Listening to “add to the fun when you’re with other people” is a motivation for them, but not as much as it is for CHR P1′s.

And they’re less information-oriented than CHR P1′s. They don’t particularly listen to hear what other people think or to learn things that make them more interesting to others (which goes with being less peer motivated).

Finally (strangely?), they’re less nostalgic than CHR fans!  I’ve never thought of CHR fans as listening “to bring back memories,” but they’re average in that respect, while Alternative P1′s are well below average:

BRING BACK MEMORIES TOTAL . ALT P1’s
VERY IMPORTANT 28% 14%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT                  .  . 34% 33%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 21% 43%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT 14% 10%
Don’t know   2%   0%

Alternative P1′s are less into memories than any other music format’s P1′s. Only News/Talk P1′s are less nostalgic.

Perhaps it’s that Alt P1′s are progressive — unconcerned with old things and open to try new things (like Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound”?)

 Monday: Oldies/Classic Hits