Radio's Share of Smartphoners' Music Listening is Strong
August 5, 2013
Each week, in this space, we have been showcasing a finding from NuVoodoo’s recently-completed national study of radio listeners 18-54.Â Our primary focus has been taking the temperature of the hand-held computer (aka “smartphone”) revolution.Â We have shown how quickly it is happening, and how many of our listeners are shifting various tasks and functions to their digital devices.Â In the past few weeks, however, we have been showing you that its impact on radio listening (so far) has been minimal.
Most recently, we have shown that smartphone owners, when in their cars, use radio just about as much as non-owners.Â And that, while they may be sampling non-radio options for music and talk somewhat more than the non-owners, they are a long way from converting their music or talk listening to those non-radio options.
This week, let’s pull back from in-car listening to the big picture.Â Comparing the smartphone owners to the rest of the population, what is Radio’s share of their TOTAL music-listening pie?
Short answer: Not a whole lot of difference between these two groups.Â Â No, the doomsayers who speak of radio’s imminent collapse are not correct.Â And yes, smartphone owners are still using radio for their music listening.Â In fact, at levels almost as robust as the non-owners who do not have all those new-media digital options at their fingertips.Â Look at the two columns above.Â The smartphone impact, at least at this early stage, is minimal.Â Among those who have a smartphone, 53% say they use radio for their music listening at least half the time.Â Among those who don’t (yet) have such a device, the comparable number is 56%.Â Among those who have one, only 27% report using radio for less than one-third of their radio listening.Â Among those who don’t have one, the number is an identical 27%.Â These are certainly not the kind of numbers we would see if we were witnessing, in progress, a revolutionary exodus from radio .
What this means to you
If you believe that the digital revolution and the demise of Radio do NOT necessarily go hand in hand, these numbers strongly support your opinion.Â But these numbers do not insure that things will continue this way.Â They tell us only that behavior change does not come right away.Â So if you believe that Radio can withstand the digital temptations that smartphone owners will encounter, now is the time to build a strong defense.Â And the best way to do that is to meet our new digital competition on the smartphone beaches.Â
When a disposed-toward-radio listener turns to her smartphone and does not see radio stations, she can be wooed by the new non-radio providers.Â But if she does see radio stations, just as hip and just as accessible as the new-media options, she will tend to stay with what she knows.Â Be highly visible, with advertising, promotion, and one-click-listen-now opportunities, on your target listener’s cellphone, and YOU become the attractive digital option.Â Act now to protect the audience you now have and do not want to risk.Â