For that reason, one of the questions I ask is this:
“Considering AM, FM, Satellite, and Internet Radio, what one radio station or service would you say is your favorite for music specifically?
In one recent study in a large market among women who listen to Hit radio stations and are aged 15-34, the answer to this question was clear:
The number one choice was Pandora.
And it was ahead of #2 by no small amount.
Notably, when you remove the phrase “for music specifically” and ask the question again, the winner is a radio station (Pandora ranks in the top five).
If we assume that this outcome exists in other markets (and it does) and that habits developed by the young are carried with them as they age (and they do), then a few things ring out loud and clear:
If your radio station is loved solely for its music, you’re in trouble. Advertisers will eventually follow attention and usage, and attention and usage are not bound by “FM” or “AM.”
If your radio station has more reasons to be loved – personalities, morning show, events, information, technology, personalization, etc. – whatever constitutes unique and compelling value for consumers – then you can win the race no matter how many post-millennial digital natives populate the audience.
Where have you placed your bets?