Burns: AC Sound 'Modernizing' With The Times
August 11, 2011 at 4:07 PM (PT)
The tastes of AC listeners have "modernized," according to the latest research from ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES. "Contemporary Pop sounds by artists like ADELE, PINK and TRAIN have overtaken '80s gold as the highest-appeal music to the AC cume," CEO ALAN BURNS said. "Both '80s and '70s hits slipped a rank, with 70s now also trailing Top 40 Pop, which includes songs from artists like KATY PERRY and LADY GAGA."
The change was most noticeable in the 35-44 demo. "The '80s are still the #1 style with Mainstream AC P1s as they were last year, but the shift among 35-44s indicates AC will continue to contemporize in general," BURNS asserted. "Contemporary Pop now works with even the oldest of 25-54 women.”
The data also show that Rhythmic Pop crossovers from Top 40 are now more appealing than '80s to Hot AC fans, which prompted BURNS to note that "Hot AC has much more in common musically with Top 40 than with Mainstream AC."
Today’s webinar, presented by DMR, was the final public release of data from ALAN BURNS AND ASSOCIATES’ national study of over 2,000 women who listen to Top 40 and AC radio. Other data from the study remain confidential for the use of Burns clients. The public data is available for free download at www.burnsradio.com.
The study’s design included input from an ALL ACCESS reader poll; ALLACCESS.COM will carry exclusive commentary on the study from ALAN BURNS again TOMORROW (FRIDAY, 8/12).
BURNS offered the final bullet points to the comprehensive study:
* Attitudes in general toward radio are very positive, including among younger listeners.
* Younger listeners, though, are less passionate about the medium and more at-risk to other music sources. They are more likely to use social media, texting, and streaming, and radio needs to engage them there on their terms.
* Radio doesn’t do social media well yet.
* PANDORA, etc., are not eating radio’s lunch and not likely to. Willingness to pay for music streams is very low, and most women rate the music on their favorite radio station as about as good as that on customized streams.
* However, personalizable music streams and the eventual presence of in-car Internet will both create more fragmentation of radio listening.
* Only 36% of women 15-54 normally listen to radio before leaving home in the morning. That’s a disappointing number that reflects radio’s having ceded a great deal of early morning "news and companionship" ground to television. Another number that indicates weaker than idea morning content: Less than 40% of women who do listen to radio in the morning have a morning radio bit or feature they look forward to.
* Women expressed interest in hearing information on the radio that relates to the safety of their children. Smart programmers and morning talent will spend some time thinking about what to do with that.
* Money has overtaken time stress as women’s #1 concern -- at a time when radio generally offers fewer cash promotions.
* Radio’s most valuable listeners tend to be:
- Heavy/Deeps (heavy radio users who are deeply committed to their P1 station)
- At-work listeners
- Women who listen to radio before leaving home in the morning.
- FACEBOOK fans
- Website visitors
All of those groups are greater TSL potentials than the average listener.
* Heavy/Deeps tend to bond with talented air personalities.
* ARBITRON panelists and diarykeepers are different from other listeners in some significant ways.
* Top 40 listener tastes currently lean more pop than they have in years, and AC listener tastes continue to become more contemporary.
Data from the study is available for free download at www.burnsradio.com.