What Millennials Think About Radio

Last Thursday at Worldwide Radio Summit 2016 in Hollywood, NuVoodoo showed results from its latest study concerning the listening habits and media attitudes of Millennials. The sample of 2074 Persons 14-29’s was drawn proportionally from all PPM markets. Last Monday we teased the presentation with this chart showing the perceived percentages of time spent listening to a wide array of sources by a demographic subset within our sample of 14-29’s.

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A number of smart programmers correctly guessed that the chart shown was from the oldest subset within our sample, in fact, 25-29’s. It shows usage for streaming overall already having overtaken time spent with over-the-air Broadcast Radio. Keep in mind, this is self-assessment and people are notoriously inaccurate making such assessments. However, it does show that Internet sources are being accepted and incorporated into lives of these young people. These new sources are being taken seriously by consumers and gaining traction for TSL – headwinds that stations are already feeling with young adult demos during the workday.

To put the numbers in perspective, however, consider the self-assessment of the youngest in our sample. The 14-17’s in our study believe that the plurality of their TSL is already spent with Internet streaming sources like Pandora (though Broadcast Radio remains larger combining over-the-air and online listening). Nearly a fifth of their TSL is perceived as being spent with non-traditional audio sources like YouTube (which many use as a platform to listen to new music).

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While a decent plurality of 21-29’s like the existing model of stations with locally-originated hosts, some 18-20’s like the idea of national hosts from New York or Hollywood. The distressing stat is that over half of Persons 14-17 don’t care either way.


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Radio personalities have been effective at connecting with young people for several generations, but most of the 14-17’s here are either immune or haven’t experienced a host with whom they connect. Young people today have so many options available from which to experience music. If radio expects to convert these young people into habitual users in the future, we need to do a better job connecting with them today.

Many managers and programmers have little time to focus on a horizon beyond next month or next quarter, but it’s clear that radio needs to give strong consideration to connecting with the audience that will be dominating 25+ demos in the very near future. In the weeks ahead we’ll be digging deeper into the box of data we opened up at Worldwide Radio Summit 2016.