Few Smartphoners Listen Heavily In-car to Non-Radio Audio
July 29, 2013
NuVoodoo’s recent national study of radio listeners 18-54 is full of findings that tell us we are witnessing a massive culture change happening very quickly.Â Listeners these days are converting so much of their lives so rapidly to their handheld computers. (Devices that, for our comfort, we quaintly call “smartphones,” in the fine tradition of “redial” and “carbon copy.”)
Radio, at least so far, has a good story to tell.Â Smartphone ownership is not yet materially hurting us.Â As we have shown in previous columns, smartphone owners are slightly more, not less, attached than non-smartphone folks to their favorite stations and morning shows. Â Additionally, TSL to a favorite radio News/Info station is actually longer among smartphoners than among non-smartphoners.
Radio’s last bastion of exclusivity had been in-car listening, but now any smartphone owner has infinite other options. Last week, we reported that, despite those options, smartphone owners are just as likely as other folks to be listening to “radio stations” while they drive.
So, are the digital audio options, in both music and spoken word, moving the car-listening meter at all?Â Are they drawing sampling?Â And how much of the sampling audience is converting to heavy users of “non-radio” audio?
Let’s break it down to two kinds of audio: music and spoken word.
Smartphone owners are only slightly more likely than non-owners (who may have CD’s, iPods, cassettes, etc) to listen to “non-radio” music when in car.Â Those who listen to non-radio music heavily (a “6” or “7” on our 1-7 scale) make up identical factions of 1 in 5 among both groups. And those who listen to it moderately (a “4” or a “5”) make up about 25% of the smartphone owners, vs. 20% of the non-smartphone owners.
As for listening to non-radio Talk in the car, we see a similar result: Slight increase in sampling, no growth in hard-core use.Â Smartphone owners, like the non-owners, are extremely unlikely to listen to it heavily (“6” or “7”).Â And while 21% of the smartphoners report moderate (“4” or “5”) listening to non-radio Talk, so do 14% of the non-smartphoners.
What this means to you
The revolution is still ours to embrace.Â Or not.Â New competitors will use advertising on the digital platform to try to chip away at us.Â So now we need to defend our traditional audience, but using non-traditional media tactics.
We need to maintain a strong, ubiquitous, advertising/promotional presence ON our audience’s smartphones.Â Combine our incumbency advantage with the power of digital immediacy. If we barrage our target with constant and convenient “click here to listen now” messages, we will grease our smooth transition to the new world. Meanwhile, if the leader (us) is dominating smartphone advertising with high frequency, a would-be competitor has no opportunity to move into a vacuum and get noticed!