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Traditional radio remains popular in the US

MUMBAI: MediaVest and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment (CCM+E) have revealed the results of a joint study in the US that provides insights into why, when and how consumers use particular audio platforms.

The study, which surveyed thousands of audio listeners who use one or more of the following audio sources – personal music collections (CDs, iTunes downloads), broadcast radio, streaming AM/FM radio, custom online playlists, satellite radio, online music videos and digital music channels on TV – shows that consumers recognise unique and important benefits for each audio platform, and will choose each based on the time of day and situational needs. In addition, the research shows that because of the use of alternate audio devices, time spent across audio platforms continues to increase and growth in audio is predominantly additive.

Usage of all platforms is generally highest from 3 pm to 7pm. “In the Car” is the number one location for audio across all day parts and participants prefer to access audio content through regular broadcast stations or satellite radio. In addition, they are more likely to listen to online AM/FM radio streams or custom playlists from home. Results also show that mobile devices increase control and portability, with most listeners citing the ability to “take their music with them anywhere” as one of the top reasons they turn to audio on their mobile devices.

The results also offer a detailed look at consumers’ motivations in selecting one platform over another. Listeners choose broadcast radio for its accessibility to timely news, radio personalities and hearing new music. Personal music collections or custom stations allow consumers to control the content, while satellite radio offers fewer advertisements. Consumers can use audio platforms to connect with the world around them, or to create and control a personal experience. The most appealing audio ads are related to listeners’ favourite music, delivered at relevant times and customized to the specific audio platform. Audio gives marketers an opportunity to deliver high-impact and emotionally resonant messages. Broadcast radio listeners are most accepting of advertising and broadcast radio delivers the strongest advertising recall and brand engagement.

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment executive VP, Insights Radha Subramanyam said, “Consumers seamlessly flow between different media choices and indeed different forms of audio. Broadcast remains dominant while other listening platforms address specific needs. By constantly tuning into audience feedback, we can continue to evolve the listening experience and optimize advertising for different platforms.”

MediaVest executive VP, research director David Shiffman said, “In the audio space, most measurement focuses on a single-audio platform, rather than a complete view of the landscape. Our goal in working with Clear Channel – with its extensive experience in both live and digital radio -was to generate a real-time and accurate view of the audio space, which we believe is going through an evolution similar to television. Marketers have embraced the concept of multi-screen consumer behavior, but audio media also provides a tremendous opportunity for them to connect with their target audience throughout their day.”

The study’s key findings include:

1. The car remains the most popular location for audio listening throughout the day.

2. 63 per cent of teens listen to more than two audio platforms a day – the highest of any demographic.

3. Broadcast radio is the most popular audio platform.
Listeners choose broadcast radio to stay connected to “the world”: Top drivers for radio usage are its accessibility, timely news, traffic, weather, engagement with radio personalities and discovering new music.
Personal music collections (CDs, iTunes downloads, etc.) are about control with 81 per cent choosing the platform to control or customise their listening experience. Custom playlists are also about control and follow with 67 per cent choosing the platform for this reason.

4. 41 per cent of consumers are willing to listen to ads in exchange for free online audio. Ads related to the music consumers like and optimised for the time of day are most powerful.

5. Audio media are an important element in people’s lives:

– 81 per cent say audio delivers fulfills their need for fun/entertainment
– 68 per cent say it provides a great way to escape
– 55 per cent indicated audio as helping to motivate & inspire them
– 46 per cent claim it offers a way to express myself/an outlet for self-expression