Exclusive: Alan Burns Wants 'Non-Music' Content Improved
August 5, 2011 at 3:55 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 8/4), ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES released its "Deep Dive Into Top 40" as part of its national study of 2,025 female radio listeners nationally, and the results show that Hip Hop’s popularity has declined while Pop Rhythm continues to grow in popularity among the format’s fans.
Today, BURNS offers exclusive commentary for ALL ACCESS readers on the lastest findings.
"The group radio most needs to protect and develop for the medium's future are younger -- and Top 40 is the format that reaches them, said BURNS. "From this study, I'd say that Top 40 is doing a pretty good job musically, but our non-music content could stand improvement. That’s in morning shows, non-morning personalities, and in social media. FACEBOOK, etc., is where that generation lives and we collectively need better skills and habits there -- according to women who listen to Top 40, our posts just aren’t very interesting.
"One thing that's good to see is that Top 40 listeners feel they’re listening to more radio lately -- and that includes teens," notes BURNS. "That may be because there are more Top 40 stations to listen to lately. In other words, Top 40's growth leads to more Top 40 growth."
Burns Has Some Some Takeaway Notes From Yesterday's Webinar
* The heaviest FACEBOOK users also tend to be the heaviest users of radio!
* Top 40 P1s actually want their music hottest in afternoon drive and SATURDAY midday. Nights was a little lower in desired energy. However, we didn’t have room to test every weekend daypart so it’s possible that Saturday night could be the highest energy desire.
* Top 40 P1s are more likely to be early adopters (that’s why we play new music), but Heavy/Deep listeners to the format are 85% more likely than other women to be EAs. Early adopters are the people who just have to be first to know, try, do, and buy the newest stuff.
The Importance Of P1 Listeners
"Those Heavy/Deep listeners (the heaviest radio listeners who are also the most committed to their P1 station) are incredibly important," continued BURNS. "They spend a full hour a day more with radio than the average Top 40 P1."
"Theoretically, at least, Heavy/Shallows (heavy radio, shallow commitment to their P1) would be a place to grow TSL. Doesn't look like a music issue there, though -- they like the same music as H/Ds but just less intensely," said BURNS to ALL ACCESS. "Where the 'shallows' seem to be different is: they are less into personalities."
"Clubs can be an important place to find concentrations of Top 40 listeners, and clubs do tend to be slightly heavier radio users," continued BURNS. "But some Top 40s sound like they think clubbing is their audience's primary activity, when actually only about 7% of them stepped inside a club in the past week."
Summing up, BURNS notes, "let’s circle back to the issue of Top 40 protecting younger listeners for the medium as a whole. Top 40 listeners who also listen to customized streams only like the streamed music a measly 4% more than the music on their P1 radio station! When we asked women why they chose to listen to AM/FM radio stations (over the air or online) over personalized music streamers, the top two answers were for energy and local information. But when we isolate Top 40 P1s, another item jumps up and pushes 'local' to #3. That #2 motivation for Top 40 fans is 'to find out what music’ s popular.' That’s a huge social and peer group item. If Top 40 does well in all three of those respects, it will not only protect itself from streamer erosion but also have a great advantage over other stations and formats."
Next week’s webinar is THURSDAY, AUGUST 11th at 2p ET. The free webinar will focus on the AC format, including the line between Top 40 and Hot AC. Join us for the webinar, and look for exclusive next-day commentary here in ALL ACCESS.