Exclusive From Today's Webinar: Alan Burns On Morning Radio, Women's Favorite Morning Show Feature
Burns Study Also Profiles Morning Media/Device Usage
July 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM (PT)
In TODAY's free webinar, ALAN BURNS revealed the favorite radio morning show feature among women 15-54 is -- Prank Phone Calls. That's additional data from ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES' second annual national study of women who listen to AC and Top 40 radio.
"When you break it out by age," said CEO ALAN BURNS, "prank calls are a clear number one among younger women; older women are a little less enamored of the bit, and it ties with various forms of trivia bits for the top spot. Another demo difference was in 'War of the Roses' -- big younger, not so much older."
Less than 40% of all women who listen to morning radio told us there is even one bit or feature they look forward to hearing in the morning. That seems to say that collectively, radio's morning show content isnâ€™t good enough.
"The largest finding to me, though," continued BURNS, "is that less than 40% of all women who listen to morning radio told us there is even one bit or feature they look forward to hearing in the morning. That seems to say that collectively, radio's morning show content isn’t good enough. And maybe that’s why only a third of these women tune in to radio before they leave home in the morning."
BURNS explains exclusively for ALL ACCESS, "Only 39% of Women 15-54 listen to radio before they get out the door in the morning? Sounds like we’re not giving them compelling content. And to back that up, only 36% -- barely more than a third of the women who listen to morning radio say that there’s at least one bit or feature they look forward to (they didn’t have to recall a specific bit at that moment; they just had to know there was one). We can do better."
Entitled "Here She Comes 2011," the study covered women's interests, radio and media usage, and preferences for music and other kinds of content. BURNS says the data shows one desired type of information that isn't often covered by radio; specifically, information about the personal safety of listeners’ children. "That ranks in the top five of information desired by all demos, and actually starts to kick in around age 20," notes BURNS. "Stations and morning shows need to think about how and if they want to address that need."
Exclusive Commentary From Alan Burns
In more exclusive commentary, BURNS notes, "The women who do listen to radio before leaving home are premium listeners who give radio more total TSL. Women are rushed in the morning, most only have an hour or less to get up and get out, so if you want your station or show to be part of their early morning you need to fit into a time-compressed environment. That is, give them something compelling right now -- don’t make them wait for it, and don’t take a long time getting to the meat of it. You see the evidence of that in PPM.
"Most-recalled 'favorite bits' are Prank Calls, War of the Roses, and various trivia games. But your competition may have Pranks and Wars or they may be too edgy for your demo/psychographic. So what? Generalize from the basic reasons they’re popular and brainstorm appropriate bits for your station from there."
"Make sure your morning show isn’t one of those that kind of wake up while they’re on -- you know, the kind of show that gets better the later it gets -- or which for other reasons takes a while to get rolling. Because the heaviest users of radio listen the earliest in the morning, they tend to be the most happy and upbeat listeners, and they’re going to want a show that matches their mood and pace. Most women who are going to listen to radio before leaving home will have tuned in by or before 7a."
"Except for those earliest listeners, most women wake up foggy, tired, or cranky and are looking for some help in waking up and getting into a better mood: some inspiring music, and something to make them laugh. (NPR and news/talk radio’s mileage may vary).
"Finally, there’s one thing that surprised us a little was the level of women's interest in hearing about the personal safety of their kids on the radio. We see lots of interest in items they don't want or at least don’t expect on radio -- like fashion or health, for example -- but this question was expressly about their level of interest in hearing certain topics on the radio. By definition those who are interested are moms, but they start showing up around age 20. Sounds like an opportunity for the right stations/shows to figure it out!"
The study also shows that money has overtaken time stress as women's number one concern. When given a choice between more money, more time, a better relationship with her significant other, or more frequent sex, seven out of ten women chose more money.
An ALL ACCESS reader poll helped shape the study's focus, and ALL ACCESS is providing exclusive commentary from ALAN BURNS each week during the release.
The results of the interviews with over 2,000 women are detailed in a series of free webinars presented by DMR. The next webinar will be a "Deep Dive into Top 40," scheduled for next Thursday, AUGUST 4th, at 2p EDT.
Cell Phones Are King
Additional data released this week from ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES shows that radio lags behind cell phones and television, but leads computers, newspapers and digital music devices as the first medium or device turned to in the morning.
"Cell phones lead all other devices," notes CEO ALAN BURNS, "because of the appeal of one-to-one communication. But one area in which there is a large usage overlap between phones and radio is as an alarm: Both are heavily used to wake consumers up. That’s another area where cell phone receiver chips would benefit everyone. Listeners get to wake up to music, cell phones get another desirable attribute, and radio gets more usage."
BURNS points out that there are apps which enable smartphone users to wake to their favorite radio station, but says, "consumers want an actual radio receiver, and the receiver chip would generate more listening than an app and be more convenient for users."
The study also shows that only 36% of women turn on a radio before leaving home, which matches closely with ARBITRON in-home cume ratings. "As an industry we need to and can improve that number," said BURNS.