Jacobs Media Unveils 'Goin' Mobile' Study
September 30, 2010 at 7:39 AM (PT)
JACOBS MEDIA and ARBITRON led off THURSDAY's sessions at the NAB/RAB RADIO SHOW in WASHINGTON with a presentation on the impact of mobile phones on the radio industry. FRED JACOBS unveiled the results of the "Goin' Mobile" study, conducted with ARBITRON's Dr. ED COHEN, which observed and interviewed a sample of 18 smartphone users among adults 18-49 in several markets.
The presentation included video vignettes from the study, and JACOBS gave attendees a "to-do list" that instructed radio to "go to school on mobile," not to look at mobile through the "radio prism," to make stations' audio streams "first-class" services ("your stream is your conduit to the digital space"), to turn the phones' "addictive quality" into opportunities, to adjust sales strategies for mobile ("mobile means money"), and to "wake up" to the challenge posed by PANDORA.
Jacobs said that the addictive nature of cell phone usage presents an opportunity for radio. 'What can we make that can be addicting content?'
Among the video clips were scenes with users professing love for their phones ("my baby," "the coolest toy I have," "I love it, I just love it ... there is nothing I cannot do with this phone," "it probably is an expression of who I am"). JACOBS pointed out that iPHONE and ANDROID phone owners have especially active relationships with their phones based on the adoption of apps (with one subject in LOS ANGELES downloading EMMIS Top 40/Rhythmic WQHT (HOT 97)/NEW YORK's app to stream music, among 32 apps on his iPHONE).
Cell Phones Are 'Lifelines'
Phones have become "lifelines," JACOBS noted, using the example of a woman with severe gluten-free dietary requirements who replaced carrying around long lists of problem food with an iPhone app that offers a searchable checklist and several other useful features. He noted that smartphones are moving from "nice gadgets" to necessities, increasing radio's need to participate in the category.
Other vignettes showed people using phones to amuse a boy going through medical treatment, take photos, communicate with family through pictures when away from home, and use Foursquare to find friends. While users are very active in social media, a business user lamented always being in touch for business and being expected to check e-mails and messages at all times, and others reported mixed feelings about being always in touch.
JACOBS said that the addictive nature of cell phone usage presents an opportunity for radio. "What can we make that can be addicting content?" JACOBS asked, showing video clips of respondents admitting their addiction to their phones and a segment with a woman saying she doesn't like to be checking the phone while talking to someone but who interrupted her discussion when text messages appeared on her cell phone screen.
Many of the respondents did listen to car radios, but JACOBS noted that when users got messages on their cell phones, the radios got turned down or off. The issue of using cell phones for talking or texting while driving is getting noted, but respondents admit that they have not stopped using the phones while driving ("yeah, I know, it's bad but I still do it").
PANDORA drew adoring comments from some users, one describing it as saying he "died and went to heaven" upon discovering the customizable music service. Use of PANDORA has, some users say, replaced listening to radio. But JACOBS said no medium is better positioned to embrace the challenge of mobile than radio, citing aspects like brand familiarity, personality, trust, and powerful cume reach as advantages radio can use for advertisers.