Big Picture: Radio Audience & The Smartphone Lifestyle
September 30, 2013
Throughout the year, we’ve been using this space to share dramatic new findings about the Radio audience.Â Radio listeners are increasingly likely to be living on their devices.Â They are increasingly likely to be immersed in social media.Â They are increasingly likely to be streaming radio and other audio on their digital devices.Â Meanwhile, they are paying less and less attention to advertising on TV and other traditional “old media.”
Screaming Headline: Â This one of those great rare occasional windows of opportunity for smart radio stations.Â Make a strong move to dominate the online and on-screen advertising/marketing space.Â NOW.
Our audience is living online and on their phones.Â While most of the industry will take its time waking up and catching up.Â So this is the moment for you to jump in with both feet.Â Â While your audience is still your audience.Â Still in your camp.Â Still relatively well-bonded to your stations for music, information, morning shows, talk product.Â But starting to discover the world of new possibilities.
Just how important is it to get into digital advertising NOW in a huge way?Â Well, let’s show the big picture, using just two of many possible indicators.Â
First, how much time does the 2013 listener spend on the Internet?Â Second, how important is social media in her/his daily life?Â We’ll look at listeners without smartphones vs.Â those with.Â And we’ll also look at those Radio users who are making the switch with their listening as well.Â Folks who have shifted at least 30 minutes of daily radio listening to digital streaming.Â This last group, of course, represents our own digital destination.Â If streaming is where our listenership is heading, what can we learn about the listeners who have already headed there?
Even among folks without smartphones, daily time online is growing.Â 14% of them spend at least 4 hours a day, 42% at least 2 hours.Â But look at smartphone owners, and those mumbers jump to 21% and 47%.Â Among folks who are streaming radio, the numbers are higher still:Â 23% and 52%.Â That’s right, a majority of streamers are spending at least two hours a day of their own time looking at Internet screens.Â And about a quarter of them are spending four or more.
Same trends, only more dramatic.Â Social media rates a 5 or 6 on a 6-point “daily life importance” scale from lots of folks.Â More than radio stations.Â More than favorite TV shows or channels.Â Among non-smartphoners, 29%.Â Among smartphoners, 42%.Â Among streaming listeners, 46%.Â And 67% of them rate social media a 4 or higher.Â Soâ€¦let’s seeâ€¦we should advertise to this critical target audienceâ€¦on what media?
What this means to you
This isn’t hard, in terms of seeing the obvious.Â It is, however, very hard for Radio, as an industry that changes slowly and painfully, to make this change.Â But we sure need to do it.Â Radio stations of course want to be the audio entertainment of choice for in the arriving smartphone age.Â So we had better put our advertising efforts and dollars into online and social media marketing.Â Because that’s where the audience is.Â Not in a few years.Â NOW.