Bridge Update: Customized Radio Stations Still Popular
April 21, 2015 at 3:54 AM (PT)
BRIDGE RATINGS has updated its FEB. 2015 study that suggested how broadcast radio could offer its listeners successful alternatives to Internet radio (NET NEWS, 2/10). The field study panel of 1,500 prime format users of Top 40, Country and Urban stations were offered the ability to customize their favorite station in these formats – and the customized versions performed better across the board in TSL and number of occasions of use each day.
BRIDGE has since polled those same users three months later to see if anything has changed. They found:
- Overall interest remains high.
- Given a choice between listening to the broadcast simulcast of the brand and the personalized version of that brand, daily use of the customizable Internet radio stations remains higher than for the simulcast approach.
- With the introduction of the customized Internet radio station, use seems to be satisfying different needs. While the simulcast Internet stream is used less than the customized version of the familiar brands, listeners seek out the simulcast as an alternative to the customized version. In fact, over 75% of the panels indicate that listening to the radio or the simulcast stream is more enjoyable since using the personalized version. The reason? Curation.
- Curation is one of broadcast radio's strongest attributes and both primary and occasional listeners to broadcast radio depend on radio to manage the presentation of popular music on their favorite stations.
This ongoing study continues to illustrate that customizable Internet radio stations which are branded with their broadcast equivalent attract tune-in and usage.
BRIDGE concedes that “It takes courage for a programmer to promote such a personalized Internet version of their broadcast property. There is fear that the customized version will cannibalize its broadcast counterpart. We are not seeing that occur in this study.
“But the biggest challenge is inertia, broadcast radio moving off a sedentary Internet strategy,” the study concludes. “There is a great opportunity in this option. Will broadcasters see the light before the opportunity is squandered?”