Mark Ramsey Reports: Phones With FM Chips, Not Showing Strong FM Usage Yet
20% With FM Chips Listen Several Times A Week Or More
July 27, 2011 at 9:47 AM (PT)
In this national telephone study of 1,346 radio listeners, aged 13-69, during JUNE and JULY 2011, so far only 20% of them are using that FM chip more than several times a week.
Here are the top five takeaways:
* Nearly 20% of the audience today says FM radio is built-in to their mobile phones
* Use of this feature is decent, but not overwhelming enough to suggest a strong demand
* This lack of demand is proven when use of this feature is compared to use of personalized radio apps and even, to a lesser degree, single station apps -- personalized radio app usage in particular is far greater than use of built-in FM
*Single-station apps need a stronger feature set to attract more downloads and more usage
* Listeners use what is most unique in its setting and what solves a problem that other media in other places can't solve.
RAMSEY told ALL ACCESS, "I'm not trying to be negative here -- I'm just pointing out reality. To make an impact on consumers you need to begin with reality. In the survey, one out of three are downloading a personalized music app.
"The thing to keep in mind is that while virtually 100% of cars have a radio, a mobile phone is not a car without the wheels. It's not a just a radio with ear buds attached -- and its not a WALKMAN."
RAMSEY speaks about the ongoing debate about to add FM chips to all smartphones. "There is nothing wrong with pushing for an FM chip. But do you view this as one component of the strategy or is it the end-all, be-all? If only one out of five are using an FM chip several times a week, that's good but can improve. In a car, two-thirds of our survey listen there."
Radio-Centric Apps Have An Advantage
How does radio improve listening on mobile either through an FM chip or an app? RAMSEY said, "To gain more traction, radio apps need to solve problems for consumers and engage them in compelling ways. That's where iHEARTRADIO is headed -- it's a starting point with their station streams."
"The advantage that radio-centric apps like iHEART have is that they can add personalization features. This does not put them in competition with PANDORA, not PANDORA in competition with radio. They are different experiences.
"What CLEAR CHANNEL is doing here is really about iHEARTRADIO being all about radio, plus. The things they will offer in terms of content and usability can only be created by the scale and heft of company like CLEAR CHANNEL. Others will follow. This will be interesting to watch."
Want to see more details of the survey? Just click here.