With or Without Smartphones ... TSL Is Identical
August 11, 2013
We have been focusing, in this space on our technologically turbulent times.Â Our audiences’ rapid transition to a lifestyle where nearly everything passes through their handheld-computers.Â It is remarkable how quickly this is happening.Â The device (which we will probably continue to inaccurately call a “phone”) is becoming the all-purpose connection between the consumer and the outside world.Â And of course, the source of no little anxiety for radio stations.Â Because our consumers’ listening choices have always been limited to maybe a couple dozen terrestrial AM’s and FM’s, plus their own personal libraries.Â And now suddenly those choices are seemingly infinite.Â Our formidable challenge is to maintain market share even while consumers shift all their listening to their smartphones.Â Where it is just as easy to click on streams that don’t come from traditional Radio.
With that in mind, we have been sharing with you the data from NuVoodoo’s annual national study of listeners 18-54.Â What we are seeing, in general, is that consumers with smartphones have yet to diminish any passion for, attachment to, or primary usage of, terrestrial radio stations and our online streams.Â The complacent broadcaster may extrapolate this trend into the future.Â Â May think it proves that the threat is not significant.Â We believe that the threat is very real.Â But that the good news is that it has had no measurable impact so far.Â The reason we are showing you all these findings is not to give you a false sense of lasting security.Â But rather to show you that we are still at ground zero.Â Think of these findings more as a baseline than as a vision of the future.
One of the simplest ways to show this is comparative TSL’s.Â Here is how much time smartphone owners, and non-owners, told us they are spending listening to “AM or FM radio stations.”
One picture, as they say...
Simply put: at this stage of the game, ya could swap the labels on these two parallel bars ... and the song remains the same.Â Whether the listener is with or without a smartphone makes no difference today in her Radio TSL.
What this means to you
Here is the most important, and most helpful, way to interpret these data.Â It is not a call to complacency, but it is also not a forecast of inevitable losses.Â The future is still in the future.Â Owning a smartphone does NOT correlate to diminishing Radio TSL.Â At least not in 2013.
That means the game is still ours...to not lose.Â If we think like, compete like, and most importantly, promote and advertise like, a digital/smartphone medium, we have a strong shot at becoming the digital smartphone medium.Â On the other hand, most radio stations are still pouring most of their ad budgets into Old Media.Â Meanwhile, our listeners’ eyeballs are constantly glued to their New Media devices.Â Where they will be bombarded with messages from our new competition.Â How can we possibly believe that is the best strategy for preserving our visibility, our image, and our audience share in a digital-dominated future?