Fortunes’ up, fortunes’ down; that’s typically the norm for the JNLR. However, it’s important to look beyond book-on-book or year-on-year results to get a real understanding of what is taking shape in the radio market.
15-24 year olds are consuming radio in a very different manner. Whilst overall radio is up, 15-24s are now listening to 6% less radio than they did in 2007 and are consolidating that listenership amongst the youth stations in preference to the more established national stations. In the last four years alone, the combined average quarter hour listenership for adults aged 15-34 on the national stations has dropped by 33% whilst the combined youth stations figure has grown by 75%.
It’s clearly apparent that with the increasing penetration of mp3s, iPods and smartphones, younger audiences are now much more adept at only listening to the content they want, when they want it, whether that is terrestrial broadcast radio, international digital streams or a personal playlist via their own portable device. To prove the point, just look at these stats;
- 45% of young adults have a smart phone
- 75% now have an mp3/ipod (up on 36% in 2006) verses the adult norm of 45%
- half of those (54%) use it almost every day
- 24% report to have listened to the radio streamed online within the last 30 days
- nearly 20% have downloaded music in the last week
As a response, to maintain their listenership base, not only are stations continuously evolving their sound and content output to stay on top of trends, but are also now investing heavily in their web offering and pushing their content across new devices. In particular, say hello to the App. The last two years has seen an explosion in radio station apps. Spin 103.8’s app has being downloaded 189,803 times, up an incredible 101% on last year. 98fm has had 91,599 downloads (up 31% year-on-year) and Red FM in Cork currently has 51,349 app downloads. A small player like Sunshine 106.8 Radio (market share just over 2% in Dublin) has even just launched their app.
These apps offer a huge array of content, above and beyond the live radio stream. With 28% of young adults downloading at least one app each month, it gives an opportunity to deepen engagement. This begs the question how can we exploit these newer advertising opportunities and look beyond pure spot buying. Whether that be the prospect of using the app for visual reference, giving something back through competitions or tapping in to the radio station’s social media community.
Digital is not cannibalizing radio as a medium, it is however evolving and enriching how we consume it. The opportunities are endless – we just need to think laterally when we consider radio.