Alan Burns Study Has 'Mostly Good News' For Radio
Burns Provides Exclusive Info To All Access Readers
July 22, 2011 at 3:56 AM (PT)
More data was released by ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES YESTERDAY (7/20) during a free webinar in cooperation with ALL ACCESS and DMR, following up on WEDNESDAY's release (NET NEWS 7/20).
In an exclusive with ALL ACCESS, BURNS wrote in detail:
"ALL ACCESS readers told us that for this year’s study two of the most important topics were women’s attitudes toward radio (and whether those attitudes are changing) and radio's digital possibilities/digital competition (such as 'how are PANDORA and other streamers affecting radio listening?). TODAY's data release focused largely on those two areas.
All Access readers told us that for this yearâ€™s study, two of the most important topics were womenâ€™s attitudes toward radio (and whether those attitudes are changing) and radio's digital possibilities/digital competition (such as how are Pandora and o
Non-radio streamers would have the public (especially their potential investors) believe they are killing radio. 2,000 women just told us that’s not so. Attitudes toward radio are generally good, although we do need to be concerned that younger listeners are not as married to the medium as older ones.
And Radio listening is holding up just fine: people who listen to online streams do that in addition to, not instead of, their radio listening. In fact, when you take into account all of radio's listening platforms -- on radio, online, and the growing listenership via cell phones -- weekly users of non-radio streams listen to more radio than the average woman.
That’s because those streamer-users tend to be early adopters of new products and services. We’ve consistently found that early adopters tend to be heavy radio listeners . Your sales staff should be using that fact, because early adopters are hugely important to new businesses and new products.
If we’re going to remain strong with younger listeners, radio needs to do a better job online and on mobile devices. The year to year growth of Radio web site usage is anemic, and less than 40% of radio station Facebook fans (the people most inclined to like our stuff!) think radio's FACEBOOK posts are interesting. That’s borderline tragic, because FACEBOOK fans tend to be not only P1s but also heavy radio listeners.
Here’s what women want on web sites and FACEBOOK pages: title and artist information, concert info and early access to tickets, your stream, and the ability to make requests. Listeners have always wanted radio stations to be responsive to their desires, and digital media are training them (especially the younger ones) to expect customization. Give them some feeling of control -- or at the very least, show them how their tastes end up as your music.
Don’t overlook YOUTUBE as a source of music exposure and, possibly, music feedback. More women use YOUTUBE for music than use PANDORA. For a song or artist, high exposure counts on YOUTUBE are great -- but don't mistake 'plays' for 'likes.' If everyone who streamed REBECCA BLACK's 'Friday' song liked it, it would be one of the biggest radio hits in years.
Two quick notes about why women listen to radio: one of the important reasons is 'to find out what music’s popular' -- that’s part of the social function of radio. But the number one reason is to escape, to brighten their mood. That dovetails very nicely with the reasons why women who already have internet access in their cars tend to still choose to listen to radio: they say the number one reason is for energy/excitement . Number two through five are all local information.
So radio’s advantages over our digital competitors are energy and local info. It’s important that we as an industry maximize those strengths rather than taking them for granted!
Here’s a quick peek into women’s lives in 2011: when we asked which of these things -- more time, more money, a better relationship, or more frequent sex -- women wanted most, the answer with an overwhelming 70% was more money. A bunch of radio pros who responded to our ALL ACCESS poll predicted the number one answer would be 'more time.' That was the right answer three or four years ago, but not in today’s post-recession, high-unemployment world.
According to even more ALL ACCESS readers, the number one topic you wanted researched was Morning Show listening and content. That will be the entire focus of next week’s data -- so join us for the THURSDAY webinar, and look for exclusive next-day commentary here in ALL ACCESS. "
"The news is mostly good," said CEO ALAN BURNS. "Women’s attitudes toward radio are very positive, and there are no signs that music streaming services like PANDORA are eroding radio usage. On the other hand, there's less love for radio among younger listeners, and while wireless broadband in cars isn't going to kill radio, it will lower usage somewhat. It will also generate more fragmentation, since broadband will bring more non-local stations into cars."
The study found that just over 2% of women nationally already have internet access in the car they drive or ride in most often; those women were questioned those women about the choices they make between radio and non-radio sources while on the road. "Based on the behavior of women who already have internet in their cars, here’s what we think will happen as in-car internet becomes widespread," said BURNS. "Daily usage of radio in the car will dip slightly, about 11%, but TSL to radio among those daily users will not dive."
The study found that 69% of women who have in-car internet still listen to radio all or most of the time they’re in the car. "It's important to note why these women choose radio over non-radio streams in their cars," BURNS continued, "and the big reasons are that radio provides energy, excitement, and local information. Radio needs to maximize those strengths because streaming services are working on ways to negate them."
BURNS says there is significant resistance to paying for internet music streams. According to the study data, less than 3% of women who currently use PANDORA pay for unlimited streaming, and only 6.6% of current weekly streamers to any service say they would "definitely" or "probably" be willing to pay around ten dollars per month to be able to listen to unlimited streams.
BURNS AND ASSOCIATES studied the attitudes toward and usage of media and music plus the personal interests of more than 2,000 women who cume AC and Top 40 radio.
The study results are being introduced in a series of free webinars presented by DMR. The next webinar will focus on morning radio listeners and content, and is scheduled for next THURSDAY, JULY 28th at 2p EDT. To register for any or all of the free webinars click here.
ALL ACCESS readers helped shape the topics covered in this year’s study, and ALL ACCESS will carry exclusive commentary by BURNS on the study results each week.
Additional Notes From The July 21 Release Of First Data From 'Here She Comes -- 2011'
* "Early Adopters" are disproportionately heavy radio listeners. BURNS says "sales should be selling this … early adopters are very valuable consumers."
* The frequency of visits to radio station websites overall is growing very slowly if at all; the number of women who have visited a radio station site in the past week stands at 27%, which is up only 1 point from last year.
* Only 38% of women who have "liked" a radio station on FACEBOOK rate the station’s posts as interesting.
* The #1 change women would like to see in radio station’s online streams is having the ability to skip songs. Not repeating the same commercials/PSAs over and over was also rated desirable, by 6 of 10 women.
* The most-used music streaming service is YOUTUBE, followed by PANDORA. Awareness and usage of radio digital ventures like HD RADIO and iHEARTRADIO lagged the leaders significantly. Just 2% of women have ever used iHEARTRADIO, and 1.4% have ever listened to HD RADIO.
* Comprehension of HD RADIO is low. Less than half the women who have heard of HD RADIO could accurately answer questions like "Do you have to buy a special radio to hear HD RADIO?" and "Do you have to pay a monthly fee to listen to HD RADIO?"
* While time stress is still a major problem for women, money worries have overtaken it. 70% of the women surveyed chose "more money" over "more time," "a better relationship with my significant other," and "sex more often." In an ALL ACCESS reader poll, radio pros predicted the answer would be "more time."