Adult Contemporary's Demographic Fault Line Is Now 45
August 3, 2012 at 3:51 AM (PT)
Data released YESTERDAY by ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES indicates there are now two audiences with very different music tastes within AC. One is 25-44 years old, the other 45+.
"25-44s and 45+ like different music styles and eras that just don't co-exist well on the same station," said CEO ALAN BURNS. "Top 40 crossover pop and pop/rhythmic hits now look good all the way up to and including 40-44-year-old women, but they fall apart around 45 and are replaced by preferences for '70s and '80s hits. Two years ago, that generational ‘fault line’ was closer to age 40, but now it's closer to 45."
BURNS noted that while '70s hits still look strong above 45, they’re losing steam.
BURNS AND ASSOCIATES concluded its release of data from its 2012 national study of women's radio, music, and digital media behavior with YESTERDAY's "Deep Dive Into AC and Hot AC" webinar presented by TRITON DIGITAL.
The webinar also profiled the top images of Hot AC stations like KBIG, WTMX and KMXP, and Mainstream AC stalwarts like WLTW, WBEB, and KOST. BURNS noted the Hot AC stations lead with images for current hits and entertaining morning shows, while Mainstream AC's strength was music quantity and winning the image for "best to listen to at work."
The study also showed that Hot AC P1s would give President OBAMA their vote in a landslide, while it's a virtual dead heat between OBAMA and ROMNEY among Mainstream AC fans. "OBAMA's strength peaks at 25-34 and declines with age," said BURNS, "while ROMNEY's hits it low point at 25-34 and increases with age.
Data from all four of the "Here She Comes 2012" presentations, as well as links to video of the webinars, is available at www.burnsradio.com.
Exclusive Commentary By Alan Burns For All Access
This division within AC means that the '70s are fading at AC and the '80s aren't far behind. The '80s are okay but not great 35-44 ... as soon as they, too, become solely a 45+ style they’ll be as scarce on the air as '70s are now.
One of the things we see in this year's data is the things that most set apart Heavy Listeners of AC (Hot and Mainstream combined) from other listeners is that they are more into personalities and promotions. Re: personalities -- In shutting down personalities outside of (and sometimes within) morning drive, radio in PPM markets is doing the right thing for the short term but a bad thing for the long run.
Speaking of promotions, we noticed that among AC's women, the appeal (likelihood to try to win) of $5,000 versus a year's supply of gas was identical -- despite the fact that the gas costs roughly half of $5,000. - A good example of the value of giving away a concept -- something glamorous that money can't buy, something she wants but can't afford to splurge on, or a solution to a problem that really bugs her.
Women generally are somewhat, but not greatly, satisfied with their lives. This means there's room for self-improvement, a better job, or other priority. Think about how you might help her accomplish that.
Six out of 10 women who listen to Hot or Mainstream AC occasionally change stations when their kids in the car -- not to listen to a station the kids like, but to avoid exposing them to graphic language or lyrics. Most mothers spend 30 minutes or more each day with their children in the car, and almost all of them listen to radio while the kids are there. That is a huge chunk of time compared to radio’s daily TSL, so you need to think carefully about your target/format and where the line might be for your station.
Especially because 72% of the AC cume are moms.
This week wraps up the presentation of the data we share with non-clients. I hope you’ve found it helpful. If you’d like to download any of our four presentations (Headlines, Digital, Top 40, and AC) or watch the webinars on You Tube, you’ll find links on www.burnsradio.com. And feel free to e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.