Why Listen to the Radio?
May 18, 2015
If you separate those who are likely to accept the offer of a PPM from those who wouldn’t, as we do in our NuVoodoo Ratings Prospect Studies, you notice first that those who predict they’d accept a meter listen to more radio.Â That’s good for business.Â So, even if it’s not perfect research, it’s a win for Broadcast Radio.Â After all, the first thing we learned as young broadcasters was that ratings are compiled to set rates for commercials.Â
If you ask the two groups why they listen to the radio, the rankings of their answers are identical â€“ but with a few key differences in the percentages of either group responding.Â
Comparing the two groups, it turns out that PPM-susceptible respondents are sharply more likely to listen to radio to hear DJ’s or hosts they like, to listen to talk shows and, as we’ve shown in the past, for contests and prizes.Â While all three influence less than half the PPM-susceptible respondents, they’re all markedly higher than among the respondents who wouldn’t accept a meter (nearly two and a half times higher regarding contests and prizes).Â
If you zoom in on music format P1’s and focus on the top five drivers, you see that To get in a better mood rises to third for nearly every music format.Â This is certainly true for female-driven formats like CHR, AC and Country â€“ and for Urban formats as well.Â
Mood enhancement remains top three for male-driven formats like Active Rock and Classic Rock (though Alternative P1’s are more focused on the music alone).Â
Our key takeaways:
- We’re flying with the wind when we connect with listeners using great people on the air.Â
- Great people on the air doesn’t necessarily mean high-profile personalities (though they’re an incredible asset to any station); great people can mean lower-profile hosts and DJ’s who just do an outstanding job identifying with listeners and supporting station’s music.
- Spoken-word formats have huge potential.Â Conservative-leaning political talk and sports talk have been well done for years.Â NPR generates strong ratings from a mainly Liberal base all over the country.Â Prior to regulatory concerns taking over, radio had done well with what we’ll label “Guy Talk” (for want of a better term).Â A handful of market-centric spoken word stations are out there, like WLW, KIRO and New Jersey 101.5 â€“ and markets would certainly support more of them.Â And there’s untapped AQH in entertaining and informing women with spoken-word radio.Â
- Contests play to the right segment of the audience (those more inclined to show up in the ratings pool) and can be useful in changing behavior for the duration of the contest.Â
- Academic research papers have been written concerning the mood enhancement connected with music listening.Â So, it’s easy to imagine how music radio stations are among the ultimate mood enhancers.Â By better understanding the moods people are trying to achieve at different times of the day from different types of radio stations, we can do a better job programming stations to enhance those moods.Â
What are your key takeaways?