The Battle of the Sexes Among Radio’s Exes, Part II

As we noted last week, NuVoodoo showed a deeper dive into data from our most recent Ratings Prospects Study while at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood. Our talk, “The Battle of the Sexes Among Radio’s Exes” showed that the percentages of consumers using non-broadcast radio options – and the TSL they’re giving to these new types of radio – are being felt by broadcasters today. The data we showed concerning usage among 18+ consumers-to-be (those now 14-17), reveals a lack of connection with broadcast.

We were among a number of presenters talking about Amazon Echo and Google Home. These new devices are proliferating quickly and have the potential to create new listening occasions for consumers. Radio can benefit from these new occasions, if it develops programming and teaches listeners how to access that programming.

Consider that Echo/Home ownership is elevated among those who use lots of broadcast radio – and even more so among those who use lots of non-broadcast streaming music. An Echo/Home strategy has the potential to pull listening back from these new services.

As we’ve shown in the past, our modeling shows that likely PPM participants over-represent consumers who listen to lots of audio. So, it will be a shock to no one that likely PPM participants are jumping into Echo/Home ownership. In other words, it’s an opportunity for new AQH, if the Nielsen encoding lines up.

While we don’t know the underlying numbers, we have heard that a plurality of Echo devices are placed in bathrooms. Think about that for a moment. New access to broadcast radio’s expertly-created morning programming for consumers getting ready for the day. While new podcasts, like The Daily from the New York Times, are aimed in part at this new morning opportunity, broadcast radio isn’t exactly a neophyte in this space.

At the starting gate, it’s simply a matter of teaching listeners how to access the station using Echo or Home (after all, there’s no tuning knob or keypad). Beyond that, it’s a matter of refocusing programming on this new listening location. What’s important to listeners in that phase of their morning routine? What can we provide (or exclude) to try to win more occasions?

Vendors like Futuri Media and SONICAi (and likely others) are working to develop new “skills” for Echo and Home, so that consumers can access more specific radio-station programming from their devices. Digital departments for larger radio owners will be following suit quickly, no doubt. These new “skills” can include highly-tailored, customizable programming for listeners. (Perhaps a quick, geo-specific update from the station to begin a listening session, that would then hand off to the station’s stream?)

Next week we’ll look at the early impact of podcasting on broadcast radio – and some of the opportunities for broadcasters in that new space.