CRS/Edison Study Shows How To Continue Millenial Growth
February 19, 2014 at 3:52 PM (PT)
Calling the widespread use of voicetracked shows “essentially a disaster for the radio industry," EDISON RESEACH Pres. LARRY ROSIN encouraged broadcasters to “double and redouble” their efforts to provide a strong live and local presence. This is especially critical for appealing to millennial listeners (born between1980-2000), 47% of whom say they prefer buying local and whose numbers for Country music usage are rapidly growing.
The COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) commissioned the EDISON study, “The New, Young Country Boom and What It Means to You,” which examined the surge in listening among 12-34-year-olds and how Country radio can keep the momentum going.
EDISON surveyed 1,550 12-34-year-olds, including nearly 900 respondents under age 25. In addition, the company conducted face-to-face interviews with Millennials about their attitudes towards Country music, Country radio, music listening and media habits in general.
ROSIN began the presentation by showing that Millenials who say they listen to Country frequently has increased from 12% to 27% in 2013 and their listening has risen in rank in the same period, #4 in 200; #2 in 2011 and #2 in 2013.
While Country music is popular, ROSIN said, “Country radio – radio – is in the fight of its life,” competing with numerous other media options, also used more and more by millenials.
EDISON’s MEGAN LAZOVICK and media strategist JANE CHARNESKI then guided the audience through a six-step “Meet the Millenials” guide, using video of 12-34-year-olds in their home environment, explaining and showing researchers how they use media in general and Country music specifically. LAZLOVICK noted that by 2020, millenials will make of 46% of the workforce, traditionally a rich area for radio listening.
While 62% listen to Country, the study focused on the 29% who use it frequently. Among the devices used to access the music include radios, smartphones, PANDORA, SPOTIFY, SIRIUSXM among others.
With up to eight different social media outlets at 70% usage or greater – and FACEBOOK at 90% -- LAZLOVIK pointed out, “You don’t have social media under control.” That’s important for Country because millenials using the format utilize more socials – more than five compared with 4.4 for overall music consumers.
CHARNESKI showed how millenials are “blessed and cursed with so many options. They have songs on iTUNES they’ve never listened to and YOUTUBE videos they haven’t watched.”
But 78% do enjoy personalities on the radio and because social media has created zero distancing between two entities -- listeners and personalities or artists, CHARNESKI said, “Millenials expect artists to be accessible.” Further, 91% say it’s okay if artists have flaws.
A video demonstrated how diverse this generation is with music tastes and other areas of marketing, as CHARNESKI urged attendees to know their audience and appeal to its diversity.
There is also appeal in doing good for millenials, or as CHARNESKI put it, “Kindness is the new currency.” So for radio, her advice was to make sure this group is aware of the good you’re doing; one nuance of that is providing opportunities to volunteer time, not just money. “Differentiate by doing good,” said CHARNESKI.
Circling back to the live-and-local opportunity, CHARNESKI pointed out that SPOTIFY, PANDORA and other music services offer the same listening experience, no matter the user’s location. “It’s never been more important to play up live and local,” she added.