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Radio in Danger with the Young? Nahhhh.

The firm, Paragon Media Strategies, reports that 14- to 24-year-olds mostly say their radio listening has increased over the last year or two, while they said the opposite last year. Paragon recruited the respondents and conducted the study online. “Radio stations may be doing a better job at connecting with those people,” said Larry Johnson, the study’s author. “The music may also simply be more interesting. There tends to be a cycle.”

This, of course, is at odds with what Arbitron's showing.

Then again, Arbitron is only a vast and representative national system of diaries and meters recording the actual behavior of tens of thousands of respondents on a daily basis.  How can it possibly compare to a tiny, annual online opinion study which happens to be backed by the PR muscle of the Radio Heard Here folks?

The difference between opinions and behaviors is the difference between a poll and a vote.  Dewey, meet Truman.

This online study is, in other words, fine for publicity – and that it certainly got.  But it changes nothing and means nothing and is, in a word, wrong.

I say this not to bring you down but to force you up.  

What's going on around radio is quite real and rather than take a quantum of solace (highly anticipated cinematic reference intended) in disposable attitudinal studies with little merit and less veracity, we need to rise to the challenges around us and focus on recapturing the attention of the young on their terms, not ours.

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