Smartphoners Listen As Much As Others to Radio In the Car
July 22, 2013
Our continuing theme in this space is the burgeoning smartphone lifestyle, and what it means for radio.Â The data we’ve been showing you, from NuVoodoo’s recent national study of radio listeners 18-54, paint a picture of a massive culture change happening very quickly.Â Listeners are converting so much of their lives so quickly to their handheld computers.Â
Radio, naturally, wants to make sure we are fully integrated into that lifestyle.Â Some doomsayers would have us believe that simply by acquiring a Smartphone, a listener not only has, but exercises, the freedom to turn off the radio.Â But our data does not bear that out.Â Admittedly, this is just a snapshot, taken as the smartphone revolution is in its earliest stages.Â But that is precisely the point.
Over the past four weeks, we have showed that, at this early stage, smartphone owners are strongly with us. Slightly more, not less, attached than non-smartphone folks to their favorite stations and morning shows. Â And, among smartphoners who have a favorite radio News/Info station, the TSL is longer than among non-smartphoners have one.
Fine, you say, but we all know the real test is listening in the car.Â All our lives, with really very little impact from tape decks, CD’s, and even iPods, Radio has been the soundtrack to driving.Â So is our dominance doomed? Â Does a listener spend significantly less in-car time with Radio once she becomes a smartphone owner?
Nope.Â So far, the smartphone has only the most minimal impact, if any, on in-car radio usage.Â As the chart above shows, the folks on the left, who own smartphones, are just about as likely as those on the right, who do not, to listen to the radio while they drive.Â 31% of non-smartphone folks say they listen to the radio “all the time” when they drive, and 53% listen all the time or close to it.Â Among those who have a smartphone, the numbers are 28% and an identical 53%.Â No evidence of an exodus.
Meanwhile, are smartphoners sampling their new non-radio options?
Sampling, perhaps yes.Â Staying, certainly not.Â Not yet, anyway.Â Â How many folks are listening to non-radio music sources all-or-almost-all-of-the time (“6” or “7”)?Â There is virtually no difference: 23% among the digitized population on the left and 24%, a marginally higher number, among the pre-digitized population on the right.Â But smartphone owners do report more “some of the time” listening to alternative sources:Â 49% of them, but only 37% of non-smartphoners, are in the middle-TSL zone (3, 4, or 5 on a 7 point scale).
What this means to you
If non-Radio sampling is happening, but non-Radio conversion has not, we have a great, perhaps fleeting, window of opportunity in 2013.Â Now is the time for us to protect our position.Â And not just by being digital.Â But by to-the-wall marketing to our at-risk smartphone listeners.Â By taking the necessary steps to become inescapably and constantly visible, available, and one-click-listenable in the digital user’s universe.