Oldies/Classic P1’s: Feelin’ Groovy

In this research, we first asked respondents to complete the sentence: Listening to [name of station they listen to most] makes me feel ______.  That’s unaided, meaning it comes straight out of respondents’ own minds. What came out of Oldies/Classic P1’s was especially enlightening…

Eleven percent of them volunteered the word younger.  No other format’s P1’s even comes close on that one, and I think it’s significant.  I think Oldies/Classic P1’s listen to escape to a happier, younger time.

After our unaided question, we specifically asked how often their P1 station makes them experience a whole number of possible feelings…51 in all.  Among other things, we learned that Oldies/Classic P1’s aren’t not that much into the present, at least when listening to their P1 station. It’s below average in making them always feel informed:

How often does [st’n listen to most]      Oldies/ 
make you feel: INFORMED ? Total   .Oldies/ Classic P1’s
ALWAYS 37%     27%
OFTEN 32%     32%
SOMETIMES 33%     35%
NEVER   5%       3%
Don’t know   2%       3%

The full list is shown below.  We can see that Oldies/Classic stations are also below average in making their P1’s feel consistently connectedintelligent or involved. What it does make them feel — first and foremost — is happy and comfortable:

[St’n listen to most] always      Oldies/
makes me feel…                           . Total    . Classic P1’s
HAPPY 47%     49%
COMFORTABLE 40%     44%
SATISFIED 37%     37%
CONTENTED 33%     36%
INTERESTED 38%     34%
DELIGHTED 33%     34%
ENERGIZED 33%     34%
CONNECTED 38%     31%
COOL 35%     31%
STIMULATED 31%     31%
EXCITED 34%     30%
CHEERFUL 33%     29%
CONFIDENT 30%     28%
PEACEFUL   29%     28%
SOCIABLE 27%     28%
INFORMED 37%     27%
RELAXED 35%     27%
SPIRITED 29%     27%
PROUD 30%     26%
WARM 26%     26%
HIP 29%     25%
POPULAR 27%     25%
PLAYFUL 27%     25%
INVOLVED 32%     24%
INTELLIGENT 29%     20%
REASSURED 26%     20%
SUPERIOR 20%     20%
WILD 19%     20%
OPTIMISTIC 22%     19%
AMUSED 26%     18%
HOPEFUL 26%     18%
SMARTER 23%     18%
BELONGING 22%     18%
TRUSTING 24%     17%
SURPRISED 19%     15%
SEXY 16%     15%
BOLD 18%     13%
DIFFERENT 17%     13%
CURIOUS 17%     11%
REBELLIOUS 11%     10%
OUTRAGEOUS   12%     6%
OVERWHELMED 7%     6%
RESENTFUL 6%     5%
NAUGHTY 7%     4%
NERVOUS 5%     4%
RESTLESS 5%     2%
WORRIED 4%     2%
TICKED OFF 4%     1%
EMBARRASSED 4%     1%
ANNOYED 3%     0%
BORED 3%     0%

Note that the word younger isn’t on the list.  My bad…we didn’t include it!  The beauty of unaided questions is it can reveal things we didn’t think of asking about.  That certainly happened with Oldies/Classic P1’s.  Had we asked about “younger,” I’d bet it would have been right near the top.

We’ll get it next time.

Tomorrow: Country proud.

 

 

A/C P1’s: Comfort Food

A/C P1’s score lower than average on many of the feelings they get from the station they listen to most. The low scores reflect of a lack of passion which we’ve noted more than once in previous research…A/C just isn’t a passion format!

It’s more of a comfort format, reflected in the fact that comfortable essentially ties happy as a feeling many always have when listening to their #1 station.

[st’n listen to most] always    
makes me feel…                   . Total       . A/C P1’s
HAPPY 47% 42%
COMFORTABLE 40% 40%
SATISFIED 37% 36%
CONTENTED 33% 36%
RELAXED 35% 33%
ENERGIZED 33% 33%
CHEERFUL 33% 33%
INTERESTED 38% 32%
CONNECTED 38% 32%
EXCITED 34% 32%
INFORMED 37% 31%
COOL 35% 31%
WARM 26% 31%
DELIGHTED 33% 30%
STIMULATED 31% 30%
HIP 29% 30%
PROUD 30% 28%
PEACEFUL 29% 28%
PLAYFUL 27% 28%
INVOLVED 32% 27%
SPIRITED 29% 27%
POPULAR 27% 27%
CONFIDENT 30% 26%
TRUSTING 24% 26%
INTELLIGENT 29% 23%
SOCIABLE 27% 23%
BELONGING 22% 23%
REASSURED 26% 22%
WILD 19% 21%
HOPEFUL 26% 20%
SMARTER 23% 19%
SUPERIOR 20% 19%
SURPRISED 19% 18%
AMUSED 26% 16%
SEXY 16% 16%
BOLD 18% 14%
OPTIMISTIC 22% 13%
DIFFERENT 17% 13%
CURIOUS 17% 12%
OUTRAGEOUS 12% 8%
REBELLIOUS 11% 8%
OVERWHELMED 7% 7%
EMBARRASSED 4% 6%
RESTLESS 5% 5%
NAUGHTY 7% 4%
RESENTFUL 6% 4%
NERVOUS 5% 3%
WORRIED 4% 3%
TICKED OFF 4% 2%
ANNOYED 3% 0%
BORED 3% 0%

What makes A/C P1’s most unique are the feelings where they score lowest of any format’s P1’s. Being consistently amused is one:​

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: AMUSED ? Total    . A/C P1’s
ALWAYS 26%   16%
OFTEN 35%   42%
SOMETIMES 34%   36%
NEVER   4%     6%
Don’t know   1%     0%

Even 17% of News/Talk P1’s say they’re always amused by their station, and that’s not a format considered a bastion of humor!  Whether A/C P1’s just don’t care about amusement or simply aren’t getting any isn’t clear from this research.

A/C P1’s also score lowest of any format for always feeling optimistic or curious when they listen. Their format is essentially the “comfort food” of radio.

Tomorrow: Feelin’ Groovy

 

CHR P1’s: Excited & Social

Like stations in most formats, CHRs make their P1’s happy, first and foremost, as we’ve learned in this year’s P1 study. But a number of other factors make CHR P1’s unique…

One is the excitement they get from the station they listen to most…44% say their CHR P1 station “always” makes them feel excited…10 points higher than listeners as a whole. Other feelings that CHR P1’s share way more than most listeners are  amused and  playful.

Most intriguing, though, is the high percentage of CHR P1’s who say their station always makes them feel popular:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: POPULAR ? Total    . CHR P1’s
ALWAYS 27%    39%
OFTEN 25%    28%
SOMETIMES 26%    19%
NEVER 15%    13%
Don’t know   6%     2%

Social acceptance is a major factor for CHR P1’s, who are also above average for feeling sociable listening to their P1 station.

This is why the “We’re #1″ message works for CHR stations in a way it doesn’t for other formats….its P1’s want to be connected to other “cool kids” as a way of establishing their own popularity. Saying you’re the “#1 Hit Music Station” isn’t braggadocio for these listeners…it’s a benefit.

Tomorrow: Not-so-funny business.

Here’s the complete list of News/Talk P1’s feelings versus 18-64’s as a whole:

[St’n listen to most] always    
makes me feel…                   . Total       . CHR P1’s
HAPPY 47%    52%
EXCITED 34%    44%
SATISFIED 37%    43%
COMFORTABLE 40%    41%
INTERESTED 38%    40%
COOL 35%    40%
CHEERFUL 33%    40%
CONNECTED 38%    39%
DELIGHTED 33%    39%
POPULAR 27%    39%
ENERGIZED 33%    38%
RELAXED 35%    37%
HIP 29%    37%
PLAYFUL 27%    37%
AMUSED 26%    37%
CONFIDENT 30%    35%
SPIRITED 29%    34%
SOCIABLE 27%    34%
PEACEFUL 29%    33%
CONTENTED 33%    32%
INVOLVED 32%    32%
PROUD 30%    32%
STIMULATED 31%    31%
INFORMED 37%    29%
WILD 19%    29%
INTELLIGENT 29%    27%
HOPEFUL 26%    27%
SMARTER 23%    27%
WARM 26%    26%
SUPERIOR 20%    26%
REASSURED 26%    24%
OPTIMISTIC 22%    23%
SEXY 16%    23%
TRUSTING 24%    21%
SURPRISED 19%    21%
DIFFERENT 17%    21%
BOLD 18%    19%
CURIOUS 17%    19%
OUTRAGEOUS 12%    18%
BELONGING 22%    17%
REBELLIOUS 11%    13%
NAUGHTY 7%    11%
OVERWHELMED 7%    10%
RESENTFUL 6%     7%
RESTLESS 5%     5%
NERVOUS 5%     5%
TICKED OFF 4%     4%
WORRIED 4%     4%
EMBARRASSED 4%     2%
ANNOYED 3%     2%
BORED 3%     2%

 

Christian Radio P1’s: Mission Accomplished

If there’s one format I’d say does the most for its P1’s, I’d have to say it’s Christian radio, based on this year’s P1 research…

A look at the top three feelings they get from listening to Christian radio tells the story. Hopeful, relaxed, peaceful…could any form of therapy touch it???

[St’n listen to most] always    
makes me feel…                   . Total.        Christian P1’s
HOPEFUL 26%     62%
RELAXED 35%     59%
PEACEFUL 29%     57%

Most dramatic is the hopefulness that Christian radio gives its P1’s. Compared to listeners as a whole, there is no comparison…62% of Christian P1’s say their station “always” makes them feel hopeful, while only 26% of listeners as a whole do:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: HOPEFUL ? Total    . Christian P1’s
ALWAYS 26%     62%
OFTEN 29%     25%
SOMETIMES 33%     11%
NEVER   8%      3%
Don’t know   5%      0%

But check out all 51 feelings we tested.  Christian P1’s exceed listeners overall on so many of them:

[St’n listen to most] always    
makes me feel…                   . Total       . Christian P1’s
HOPEFUL 26%     62%
RELAXED 35%     59%
PEACEFUL 29%     57%
HAPPY 47%     56%
CHEERFUL 33%     53%
SATISFIED 37%     51%
INVOLVED 32%     51%
COMFORTABLE 40%     50%
CONNECTED 38%     50%
INFORMED 37%     50%
SPIRITED 29%     50%
CONFIDENT 30%     49%
INTERESTED 38%     47%
EXCITED 34%     47%
CONTENTED 33%     47%
WARM 26%     46%
REASSURED 26%     46%
ENERGIZED 33%     44%
TRUSTING 24%     44%
INTELLIGENT 29%     43%
OPTIMISTIC 22%     43%
BELONGING 22%     42%
DELIGHTED 33%     35%
STIMULATED 31%     35%
PROUD 30%     34%
SOCIABLE 27%     29%
SMARTER 23%     29%
COOL 35%     27%
AMUSED 26%     27%
DIFFERENT 17%     27%
BOLD 18%     25%
HIP 29%     21%
SURPRISED 19%     19%
POPULAR 27%     18%
CURIOUS 17%     18%
PLAYFUL 27%     14%
SUPERIOR 20%     14%
OUTRAGEOUS 12%     10%
WILD 19%      9%
RESTLESS 5%      8%
SEXY 16%      7%
OVERWHELMED 7%      6%
RESENTFUL 6%      6%
NERVOUS 5%      6%
TICKED OFF 4%      6%
REBELLIOUS 11%      4%
NAUGHTY 7%      3%
WORRIED    4%      3%
EMBARRASSED 4%      3%
ANNOYED 3%      3%
BORED 3%      1%

In addition to feeling hopeful, Christian radio P1’s score higher than any other format’s P1’s for always feeling belonging, cheerful, comfortable, confident, contented, excited, involved, optimistic, peaceful, reassured, relaxed, satisfied, spirited, trusting and warm as a result of listening to their P1 station….Whew!

Naturally, they’re not above average for every feeling we tested. And they’re lowest for always feeling rebellious, sexy and wild as a result of listening to Christian radio.

Of course!

Tomorrow: Be like the cool kids.

 

 

 

Rock P1’s: Too Cool to Care?

Who we’re calling “Rock” P1’s includes those who name a Mainstream Rock, Active Rock or Alternative station as the one they listen to most. Here’s what we learned about them in this year’s ListenerThink P1 research…

Forty percent of those who listen to a Rock station most say it “always” makes them feel cool..highest of the feelings we tested. Another 33% say listening “often” makes them feel cool.

But Rock P1’s score lower than average for always experiencing many of the other positive feelings we tested. Here’s how they compare to listeners as a whole for all 51:   

[St’n listen to most] always      .    
makes me feel… Total       . Rock P1’s.
COOL 35%    40%
HAPPY 47%    39%
COMFORTABLE 40%    38%
ENERGIZED 33%    35%
RELAXED 35%    33%
STIMULATED 31%    32%
SATISFIED 37%    31%
CONTENTED 33%    30%
EXCITED 34%    29%
CONNECTED 38%    28%
INTERESTED 38%    26%
DELIGHTED 33%    26%
HIP 29%    26%
INVOLVED 32%    24%
PROUD 30%    24%
CONFIDENT 30%    23%
INFORMED 37%    22%
CHEERFUL 33%    22%
BOLD 18%    22%
BELONGING 22%    21%
AMUSED 26%    20%
WILD 19%    20%
INTELLIGENT 29%    19%
SPIRITED 29%    19%
HOPEFUL 26%    19%
TRUSTING 24%    19%
POPULAR 27%    18%
REASSURED 26%    18%
REBELLIOUS 11%    18%
PEACEFUL 29%    17%
WARM 26%    17%
PLAYFUL 27%    16%
OPTIMISTIC 22%    16%
SUPERIOR 20%    16%
CURIOUS 17%    16%
SOCIABLE 27%    15%
SMARTER 23%    11%
SURPRISED 19%    11%
DIFFERENT   17%    11%
OUTRAGEOUS 12%    11%
SEXY 16%     8%
NAUGHTY   7%     8%
OVERWHELMED   7%     5%
RESENTFUL   6%     4%
RESTLESS   5%     4%
EMBARRASSED   4%     4%
TICKED OFF   4%     3%
NERVOUS   5%     2%
WORRIED   4%     2%
ANNOYED   3%     2%
BORED   3%   2%

Where “rockers” fall far below average is in the area of engagement with their P1 station. Fewer are always interested:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: INTERESTED ? Total    . Rock P1’s
ALWAYS 38%    26%
OFTEN   40%    48%
SOMETIMES 18%    21%
NEVER   3%     5%
Don’t know   1%     0%

Similarly, fewer feel consistently connected or involved as a result of listening. They score lowest of any format’s P1’s on both of those feelings.

Nor does their Rock station consistently connect many to what’s going on in the outside world.  Only 22% say they always feel informed…also lowest of any format’s P1’s:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: INFORMED ? Total   . Rock P1’s
ALWAYS 37%    22%
OFTEN 32%    35%
SOMETIMES 33%    24%
NEVER   5%     5%
Don’t know   2%     2%

And Rock stations aren’t making many of their P1’s feel smarter. Only 11% saying they always do…also lowest of any format’s P1’s:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: SMARTER ? Total   . Rock P1’s
ALWAYS 23%    11%
OFTEN 25%    21%
SOMETIMES 31%    37%
NEVER 16%    27%
Don’t know   5%     5%

Finally, Rock stations aren’t putting many of their P1’s in a sociable mood:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: SOCIABLE ? Total   . Rock P1’s
ALWAYS 27%    15%
OFTEN 31%    29%
SOMETIMES 29%    42%
NEVER   9%    13%
Don’t know   4%     1%

So, when comes to the station they listen to most, relatively few Rock P1’s are consistently feeling interested, connected, involved, informed, smart or sociable…

But COOL? Yeah!

Tomorrow: P1’s who feel blessed.

Urban P1’s: Into It!

Yesterday, we saw that News/Talk P1’s aren’t emotionally connected to the station they listen to most in the way other P1’s are. Urban P1’s, on the other hand, get it all…

While nearly half of 18-64 listeners in this year’s P1 research say their most-listened-to station “always” makes them feel happy, 71% of Urban P1’s do!…way higher than any other format’s P1’s.  Urban P1’s score above average on every one of the the 51 feelings we tested, and highest on more than half of them:

[St’n listen to most] always     .    
makes me feel… Total       . Urban P1’s
HAPPY 47%    71%
HIP 29%    57%
CONNECTED 38%    50%
COOL 35%    50%
INFORMED 37%    49%
INTERESTED 38%    48%
POPULAR 27%    48%
RELAXED 35%    46%
ENERGIZED 33%    45%
COMFORTABLE 40%    44%
EXCITED 34%    44%
AMUSED 26%    43%
SATISFIED 37%    42%
PROUD 30%    42%
DELIGHTED 33%    40%
INVOLVED 32%    40%
STIMULATED 31%    40%
CONFIDENT 30%    39%
SPIRITED 29%    39%
PLAYFUL 27%    39%
HOPEFUL 26%    38%
CHEERFUL 33%    37%
WARM 26%    37%
PEACEFUL 29%    36%
SOCIABLE 27%    36%
TRUSTING 24%    36%
SEXY 16%    36%
CONTENTED 33%    35%
SURPRISED 19%    34%
BOLD 18%    34%
SMARTER 23%    32%
INTELLIGENT 29%    31%
WILD 19%    31%
REASSURED 26%    30%
OPTIMISTIC 22%    30%
SUPERIOR 20%    28%
BELONGING 22%    26%
DIFFERENT 17%    24%
CURIOUS 17%    20%
OUTRAGEOUS 12%    19%
NAUGHTY   7%    17%
REBELLIOUS 11%    16%
RESTLESS   5%    14%
RESENTFUL   6%    10%
TICKED OFF   4%    10%
OVERWHELMED   7%     9%
NERVOUS   5%     8%
WORRIED   4%     8%
EMBARRASSED   4%     7%
ANNOYED   3%     6%
BORED   3%     6%

Now, you might rightly note that Urban format P1’s also score above average (if not highest) on negative feelings engendered by their P1 stations…feelings like resentful, ticked off, overwhelmed. These negatives are far behind the positive feelings…still, it’s fair to say that Urban P1’s emotional engagement with the station they listen to most isn’t entirely positive.

But I think the key here is the word engagement. Radio is anything but an “appliance” to Urban P1’s…it’s a highly valued part of their lives.

And note those feelings where Urban P1’s are most above average. For example, twice as many Urban P1’s feel hip as a result of listening, compared to listeners as a whole. They’re also feel far more connected and popular.  

Urban radio is, then, a source of esteem for its P1’s.  It makes them feel part of something bigger, better, hipper. No wonder they’re so into it!

Tomorrow: Too cool to care?

News/Talk P1’s: It’s Not About Happy

Yes, as we reported last week, the vast majority of listeners say the station they listen to most “always” or “often” makes them feel happy. But not all formats’ P1’s think alike…

Based on this year’s online P1 research among 1,010 18-64’s, as we’ve found in the past, News/Talk P1’s are quite different. Only 15% say listening to their P1 station always makes them happy…far fewer than among listeners as a whole:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: HAPPY ? Total    . N/T P1′s
ALWAYS 47% 15%
OFTEN 36% 33%
SOMETIMES 16% 52%
NEVER   1%   0%
Don’t know   0%   0%

And keep in mind that’s the “aided” measure — where we specifically asked New/Talk-ers how often their P1 station makes them feel happy. Earlier in our survey, when we asked what word describes how the station they listen to most makes them feel, a mere 3% of News/Talk P1’s volunteered “happy,” while 23% of 18-64’s overall did!

Happiness just isn’t “the thing” for News/Talk P1’s, at least when it comes to the station they listen to most. And other top “feel good” emotions that others get from radio — like being relaxed or energized (to name just two examples) — are way below average…in fact, lowest of any formats’ P1’s.

It’s not about “good vibes” for News/Talk-ers…it’s about feeling informed…

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: INFORMED ? Total    . N/T P1’s
ALWAYS 37%    67%
OFTEN 32%    30%
SOMETIMES 24%     3%
NEVER   5%     0%
Don’t know   2%     0%

And it’s about feeling smart:

How often does [st’n listen to most]    
make you feel: INTELLIGENT ? Total    . N/T P1’s
ALWAYS 29%    43%
OFTEN 31%    32%
SOMETIMES 29%    18%
NEVER   8%     7%
Don’t know   4%     1%

Most News/Talk stations totally miss this boat when it comes to tapping into their targets’ unique “radio psychology.” Oh, they’ll brag about their own attributes, like “Traffic and Weather on the :10s,” or whatever, but they don’t put their focus on their P1’s psychological benefits. Positioners like: THE STATION THAT KEEPS YOU INFORMED or THE STATION THAT MAKES YOU SMARTER would be far more powerful.

Tomorrow: The listeners who love radio most.

And here’s the complete list of News/Talk P1’s feelings versus 18-64’s as a whole:

[St’n listen to most] always    
makes me feel…                          .  Total    . N/T P1’s
INFORMED 37%    67%
INTERESTED 38%    44%
INTELLIGENT 29%    43%
CONNECTED 38%    34%
INVOLVED    32%    30%
SMARTER 23%    28%
SOCIABLE 27%    24%
CONFIDENT 30%    22%
DELIGHTED 33%    21%
PROUD 30%    21%
SATISFIED 37%    20%
STIMULATED 31%    20%
REASSURED 26%    20%
TRUSTING 24%    18%
CURIOUS 17%    18%
EXCITED 34%    17%
AMUSED 26%    17%
COMFORTABLE 40%    16%
COOL 35%    16%
SPIRITED 29%    16%
HAPPY 47%    15%
CONTENTED 33%    15%
CHEERFUL 33%    15%
BELONGING 22%    15%
OPTIMISTIC 22%    15%
RELAXED 35%    13%
POPULAR 27%    13%
ENERGIZED 33%    12%
HIP 29%    12%
HOPEFUL 26%    11%
BOLD 18%    11%
SURPRISED 19%    10%
DIFFERENT 17%    10%
PEACEFUL 29%     9%
PLAYFUL 27%     9%
SUPERIOR 20%     9%
REBELLIOUS 11%     8%
WARM 26%     6%
WILD 19%     6%
OUTRAGEOUS 12%     6%
SEXY 16%     5%
OVERWHELMED 7%     3%
NERVOUS 5%     3%
RESENTFUL 6%     1%
RESTLESS 5%     1%
TICKED OFF 4%     1%
EMBARRASSED 4%     1%
ANNOYED 3%     1%
NAUGHTY 7%     0%
WORRIED 4%     0%
BORED 3%     0%

Pharrel Williams Was Right

If you work in radio, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not making a contribution to society. No, you’re not finding a cure for Ebola or reversing climate change, but you’re making people happy! And, as the Pharrel Williams song instructs us: “Happiness is the truth.” It sure is for radio listeners…

This year’s P1 research focused mainly on how the station radio listeners listen to most makes them feel. We based it on 1,010 online surveys among 18-64 year olds conducted from October 24-31. To qualify, respondents had to answer “yes” to the question: Can you name one FM or AM radio station that you spend the most time listening to?  We then asked them the name and dial position of that station and — based on where they live — categorized their P1 station’s format for further analysis.

We begin sharing that “deeper dive” into the data on Monday. But for now, let’s look at the big picture…

First, we asked them to complete the sentence: Listening to [name of station they listen to most] makes me feel ______. Nearly one-fourth volunteered ‘happy”…more than any other response. But the feelings that follow are at least as positive:

Complete the sentence:  
[st’n listen to most] makes me feel…  
HAPPY 23%
GOOD 16%
RELAXED   8%
INFORMED   5%
GREAT   4%
YOUNG(ER)   3%
ALIVE   2%
ENERGIZED   2%
AWESOME   2%
ENTERTAINED   2%
NOSTALGIC   2%
COOL   2%
UPBEAT   2%
CALM   2%
EXCITED   2%
Other 28%

Next, we specifically asked how often their  P1 station makes them experience a whole number of possible feelings…51 in all.  “happy” again emerged on top. Nearly half told us their P1 station “always” makes them feel happy, and more than a third said it “often” does:

How often does [st’n listen to most]  
make you feel: HAPPY ?  
ALWAYS 47%
OFTEN 36%
SOMETIMES 16%
NEVER   1%
Don’t know   0%

Happy’s 47% “always” is tops among the feelings we explored.  But there are lots of positive vibes among the 51 feelings we tested:

[St’n listen to most] always              
makes me feel…  
HAPPY    47%
COMFORTABLE    40%
INTERESTED    38%
CONNECTED    38%
INFORMED    37%
SATISFIED    37%
RELAXED    35%
COOL   35%
EXCITED   34%
CONTENTED   33%
DELIGHTED   33%
ENERGIZED   33%
CHEERFUL   33%
INVOLVED   32%
STIMULATED   31%
CONFIDENT   30%
PROUD   30%
PEACEFUL   29%
INTELLIGENT   29%
SPIRITED   29%
HIP   29%
POPULAR   27%
PLAYFUL   27%
SOCIABLE   27%
WARM   26%
AMUSED   26%
REASSURED   26%
HOPEFUL   26%
TRUSTING   24%
SMARTER   23%
BELONGING   22%
OPTIMISTIC   22%
SUPERIOR   20%
WILD   19%
SURPRISED   19%
BOLD   18%
CURIOUS   17%
DIFFERENT   17%
SEXY   16%
OUTRAGEOUS   12%
REBELLIOUS   11%
OVERWHELMED     7%
NAUGHTY     7%
RESENTFUL     6%
RESTLESS     5%
NERVOUS     5%
TICKED OFF     4%
WORRIED     4%
EMBARRASSED     4%
ANNOYED     3%
BORED     3%

The positive, constructive feelings we tested overwhelm the overtly negative ones, which are all in single digits. Yes, radio is a positive force in these listeners’ lives.

Monday: Listeners who don’t seek happiness from their P1 station.

Radio Not 13-20’s Agenda

Our June ListenerThink study revealed that the vast majority of adult listeners think the people on radio make it better to listen to. Nearly half think they make radio a lot better. But as we move forward,  WHO will the people on radio be? The current stars of radio won’t be around forever…who will replace them???

Our recent research of 13-20-year-olds reveals that radio isn’t an overt aspiration for them. Out of 506 respondents, NOT ONE referred to radio when we asked: What do you want to be when you grow up? (One respondent does want to be a “sports broadcaster,” but that’s not necessarily in radio.)

It’s not like they’re avoiding radio because it’s some unattainable goal. Other careers that are as challenging (or even more so) were volunteered by some. Eleven 13-20-year-old respondents want to be artists, 11 want to be athletes, 8 want to be authors and 8 want to be actors. These aren’t big numbers, but they beat zero.

Keep in mind that these are “unaided” responses…volunteered by respondents before we even mentioned radio. Unaided responses — what’s top-of-mind — matter most. They tell us what people are thinking about. Clearly, 13-20-year-olds aren’t thinking about careers in radio!

When we specifically ask about a career in radio, however,  a  surprising percentage are “very interested”:

How interested are you in  
working in the radio business            
as an adult career choice?
VERY INTERESTED 16%
SOMEWHAT INTERESTED 20%
SLIGHTLY INTERESTED 25%
NOT AT ALL INTERESTED 33%
Don’t know   5%

Among those very interested, love of music is the #1 reason, volunteered by 23%. Twenty-one percent think radio would be a “cool job,” followed by 14% who think it would be a “fun job.”

Now, these numbers don’t mean that all those who say they’re “very interested” are truly prospects for a career in radio! (It’s a whole lot easier to say it than actually make the commitment.) But the numbers do suggest that the idea of a career in radio does have potential appeal and selling points for some 13-20-year-olds. Radio’s future talent pool is a concern, and this latent interest suggests hope for the industry to replace its present stars.

But there’s an even bigger and more immediate issue — the fact that none of our 13-20-year-old respondents volunteered interest  in a radio career reveals that radio isn’t top-of-mind with them. It’s just not a big deal to them, as a group.

That’s so different from my under-21 era…

Radio was a huge deal for us.  And I’m not just talking about myself — someone who actually went into “the biz.” Growing up in Chicago, most of my friends  — guys who became doctors, lawyers, etc. — were also into the music, the jocks and the heated Top 40 battle between WLS and WCFL during our high school years. Of course, that was before PCs, before the internet, before smartphones…

There’s nothing we can do to stem that tide of technology. The radio industry should, as I’ve said, embrace tech by giving its programming a high-profile presence on PCs, the internet and smartphones.

But beyond the delivery of programming, think about content. Radio should embrace younger listeners…the 25-54’s of the not-distant future. Yet few stations — even younger-targeted stations — offer any programming that talks to teens the way that Chicago radio’s Ron Brittain, Chuck Buell, Barney Pip, Kris Erik Stevens and John Records Landecker talked to us “back in the day”? They were so cool, so relatable, that one of us wanted to be just like them.

Radio personalities’ connection to young listeners should be stronger than ever given the advent of texting and social media. Radio can give young listeners a sense of connection that other sources of music cannot.  Radio could be a career aspiration for some younger listeners. Radio simply needs to make the effort!

Otherwise, radio will become less and less relevant to today’s younger listeners, even when they’re no longer so young.

13-20’s: FM’s Not “All That”

Yesterday, we showed that listening to an FM radio wasn’t close to young listeners’ top choice for music, but that a significant number have streamed stations on digital devices. Today, we get into their attitudes about FM…

Just to review, these findings are based on 506 online surveys with 13-20-year-olds, conducted September 12-17. What do they think of FM???

For the vast majority, FM doesn’t stand for “music,” first and foremost in their minds. Music is  FM’s #1  top-of-mind image, but it’s only volunteered by around a quarter of 13-20-year-olds:

What is the very first thing that pops into  
your mind when you think of FM radio?
MUSIC/SONGS/TUNES 23%
A SPECIFIC STATION 12%
LISTEN (MAINLY) IN CAR 11%
DON’T NEED/LISTEN/USE (MUCH)   4%
OLD/OUTDATED   3%
COOL   3%
OK   2%
GENERIC POSITIVE   2%
BORING   2%
Other 36%
Don’t know   3%
%’s among those who answer, n=460.  
Multiple responses permitted.

And, as we reported yesterday, only around a quarter name FM radio as the device they listen to most (7%) or second most (19%) for music.

So, given the (quite reasonable) assumption that music is by far 13-20-year-olds’ biggest reason for listening, it’s understandable then that fewer than half consider FM “very” or “somewhat”  important in their lives:

How important is FM radio to  
you, personally in your life?           .
VERY IMPORTANT 16%
SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT 27%
SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT 29%
NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT 25%
Don’t know   3%

Comparing the importance of FM to that of personal computers and smartphones — which deliver music, but do much more — wouldn’t be fair, so I won’t dwell on that. (But “for the record,” their importance is shown below.)

On the other hand, comparing FM with other devices that are also primarily for music is fair. And the fact that FM lags iPods/MP3 players among 13-20’s is a concern:

% “VERY” OR “SOMEWHAT”  
IMPORTANT:
COMPUTER/PC 91%
CELL PHONE/SMARTPHONE 87%
TV 75%
VIDEO GAME CONSOLE 60%
IPOD/MP3 PLAYER 56%
IPAD/TABLET 55%
FM RADIO 43%
CD PLAYER 30%
SATELLITE RADIO/SIRIUS/XM     . 27%

iPods and MP3s don’t have the multi-function capability of PCs and smartphones. I’d argue that they deliver less than FM (but that’s just me…decades away from 13-20)! But aside from the fact that digital music players enable users to listen to their own music without interruptions, I suspect it’s the fact that they are digital — related to PCs and smartphones — that gives them more of a “cool factor” than “old tech” FM:

Is this device COOL or UNCOOL
as a source for music? COOL       . UNCOOL   .  No Opinion  .
CELL PHONE 88%      5%      7%
COMPUTER/PC 84%      6%    10%
IPAD/TABLET 76%      8%    16%
IPOD/MP3 PLAYER 75%    13%    12%
FM RADIO 50%    26%    24%
SATELLITE RADIO/SIRIUS/XM     . 41%    26%    33%
CD PLAYER 33%    47%    21%

Today’s findings reinforce the message of what we reported yesterday. Much of  FM (and AM) programming is already available on digital devices, but the industry needs to do more…it must embrace digital to position itself for the time when transmitters become superfluous. I’m not suggesting that will happen soon. But 13-20-year-olds are just going to get older. If radio doesn’t care much about them now, it will.