How Do Smartphone Owners Feel About Radio Stations? (Pt 1)
June 17, 2013
We have been showing you dramatic data, from NuVoodooâ€™s recent national study of radio listeners 18-54, showing you just how quickly the smartphone-driven digital lifestyle has taken hold with our audiences.Â We see this as a call to action for stations.Â This is the moment for challenging and re-thinking not simply how we transmit, but critically, how we market our radio stations.Â We are marketing to people who are living digitally, and we need them to see us as part of that digital lifestyle.Â We will not get there by continuing to advertise primarily in old traditional media.Â
What is most significant about now is that the digital lifestyle is still very new, and our listeners are just learning to navigate it.Â We wanted to see whether those who have acquired smartphones feel any differently about radio stations than the Muggles who have not gone personally-digital.Â Yes, of course, some folks who own smartphones, and some who donâ€™t own smartphones, simply donâ€™t listen to the radio.Â They are not our concern.Â We are looking to strengthen our ties to the existing audience.Â So hereâ€™s the great news:Â We are still at ground zero.Â In 2013, the playing field is still level.Â Music radio stations are still just as or more important to smartphone owners as we are to people who donâ€™t have smartphones.Â
The act of acquiring and owning a smartphone itself does not make a listener less attached to their favorite radio station.Â p>
As you can see above, listeners with smartphones are, if anything, slightly more bonded to their favorite music station than are listeners without smartphones.Â Look at the combined red, orange, and yellow bars above.Â These are the listeners who give an importance score of at least 4 (on a six-point scale) to their favorite music station.Â 45% of non-smartphone folks, but 53% of smartphone owners, feel that attached.
Putting this another way: People who give high importance to their favorite music radio station are, if anything, slightly more likely to also own a smartphone.Â Within our sample, smartphone ownership runs around 70% on the right side of this graph, the more radio-bonded listeners, but closer to 60% among the less-bonded listeners on the left side.Â
The point, of course, is not that smartphones inherently make for more-attached audiences.Â The point is simply that they do NOT inherently make for less-attached audiences.
What this means to you
We continue to point out the fierce urgency of now.Â
As an industry, we worry about maintaining market share in the brave new digital world.Â But that future has not arrived.Â As of now, music radio is as strong in the heart of a smartphone owner as in the heart of a Muggle.Â The digital future is still ours to dominate or kick away.Â We want our piece of the pie to stay large as the digital choices get exponentially larger?Â Then we need to be on the menu constantly.Â We must put not just our content, but our advertising money where our digital mouth is.