How Big is Radio's Slice of the Music Pie?
November 11, 2013
To listen to some folks, you might believe that Radioâ€™s share of music-listening time is on its way to oblivion.Â That while consumers have not actually abandoned Radio, their other music listening far exceeds their music radio listening.Â Well, letâ€™s do a reality check.
As you know from our previous columns, we do take seriously the potential threat But we are also tracking the perceptions and behaviors of Radio listeners.Â We consistently have found that majorities of the radio audience say positive things about Radio.Â We have yet to see signs of them beating a path for the exits.
This week, letâ€™s look at a straightforward, simple metric.Â The consumerâ€™s own sense of music radioâ€™s slice of his/her own individual music pie. We asked our national sample of Radio users, 18-54, to estimate their radio listening as a percentage of their total music listening.Â Hereâ€™s what they told us:
As you can see, they say that Radio today accounts for more than half of their music listening.Â Despite the long-time bias against radio listening at home.Â Despite the ease, even in the car, of listening to oneâ€™s own CDâ€™s and mp3â€™s.Â Despite the widespread availability of thousands of alternate streams, many with no commercials.Â Despite the ease, the choose-your-own-adventure appeal, and the no-fee element of apps like Pandora and Spotify.Â All these other choices, when added together, still amount to less than radio.Â
A majority of the audience says that Radio gets at least half of their music time (the blue bar).Â A huge majority, about three in four, says that Radio gets at least one-third of their listening time (the green bar).Â And just over one-third of the audience are power users, who say radio gets at least 70% of their listening time (the purple bar).Â Thatâ€™s some nice slice.
Letâ€™s nip in the bud any concern that smartphone users, for whom the alternatives are the most available, are now listening to much less music radio than other radio listeners.Â In fact, their listening levels are only a percentage point or two lower than those of the total sample.Â Andâ€¦if we focus on the people we care most about, those most likely to say yes to PPM, their listening levels are even higher.
What this means to you
Preserving the patronage and TSL of our existing audience is of course the key to our future.Â So the good news is that a majority of these folks listen to music radio for a majority of their listening time.Â If there is a coming revolution, it hasnâ€™t hit them yet.Â Meanwhile, they are indeed converting to the digital lifestyle.Â And our new digital competitors will be trying hard to win them over.Â Advertising in the digital arena.Â On the digital devices.Â Where your listeners they are already starting to see their advertising.Â Will you meet them on those advertising beaches?Â Or will you stick with TV and Outdoor?Â And start worrying about your own digital advertising only after your silence against their messages has caused you damage?Â Trying to lock the barn door too late?Â Really?