Headphones: Noise Canceling or Ratings Canceling?

In NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study Fifteen we’ve again dived deep to look at at-work listening habits. In this new study we’ve included a group of 55-64’s as part of a sample of nearly 4,000 respondents, representing four generations. And while Generation Z is just entering the workforce as Baby Boomers are starting to retire, there are quarter-hours to be gotten across them all. We’ll look at the workplace listening puzzle, along with other practical matters in the first installment of our spring webinar series: 20 Things to Put Your Station on Top of the 2020 Ratings. The new webinar kicks off this Thursday, February 13; register for any of three sessions at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.

For operators in PPM markets, along with the growing number of workplace audio competitors, headphones (including earbuds) are a growing challenge. Headphones are in the majority of workplace listening ears among younger generations and supply audio to about half the Generation Xers at work in our sample.

Don’t assume that those headphones and earbuds are exclusively providing audio from non-broadcast sources like Spotify and Pandora. Our data shows that among those listening at work to FM (either over the air or via streaming), 43% are listening on headphones – meaning they’re likely inaudible to a meter and represent lost quarter hours. Headphones have always been a problem for PPM, but they now represent significant losses to ratings and revenue as at-work listening shifts away from speakers.

We’ll look at who’s listening at work to terrestrial and who’s listening to digital by generation, demo and format preference in the webinar. We’ll also dive deep into our latest information on:

  • Social Media usage (including Twitch and TikTok)
  • National and local contests
  • Marketing messages that drive tune-in or boost TSL
  • Programming benchmarks that move the needle

We promise to get through it all in less than 30 minutes, but we’ll stay on as long as needed to answer all of your questions. This new webinar kicks off the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13. Register for any of three sessions at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.