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Bridge Ratings Radio Format Perceptual - Spring 2006

 

For Immediate Release:

Format Time Spent Listening Affected Differently by Digital Media

Bridge Ratings recently concluded a study of 4000 listeners to traditional radio to determine how digital media options affect different radio formats.

Overview

Among 7 activities, traditional radio listening clearly benefits from some digital activities which represent a portion of hours spent per week. For traditional radio we are still seeing significant listening levels in the 92-94% percentile range among all listeners ages 15 to 64.

Participants were asked to tell us if the time they spend with a particular activity causes them to spend more or less time with traditional radio.

"Does the Time You Spend with each of the following activities make you listen to more or less conventional radio or does it have no effect?"
  Total Conv. radio Satellite radio
Internet radio
Recorded Music P2P
Podcasting
MP3
Difference (more or less)
-12%
-8%
-12%
-28%
-6%
29%
24%
15%
More
23%
20%
23%
27%
31%
51%
58%
42%
Less
35%
28%
36%
55%
37%
22%
34%
27%
No Effect
41%
51%
41%
18%
33%
27%
6%
29%
Don't Know/No Response
1%
1%
0%
0%
1%
0%
0%
2%

How to read: Among participants who listen to terrestrial radio and Internet radio 27% responded that they listen to more radio, 55% listen less and 18% say listening to Internet radio has no effect.
Note: Internet radio listening estimates include streaming of terrestrial radio stations as well as internet-only stations.

Respondents were also asked which stations (formats) they spend most of their time with, which digital media they use and how many hours per week they spend doing each.

Time Spent with Various Media Persons 15-64
Format Preference % Listen Radio Hrs per wk MP3 Hrs per wk Internet Radio Hrs per wk Satellite Hrs per wk Net Effect on Format Listening
Adult Contemp 15.6% 7.10 5.25
3.50
6.25
-5%
Adult Hits
2.1%
7.15
5.50
4.33
5.25
-2%
Alternative
3.5%
7. 25
6.00
7.25
7.75
-8%
Contemporary Hits Radio
12%
6.50
10.50
6.00
6.00
-12%
Country
9.3%
7.45
5.10
3.75
5.75
-6%
New AC/Smooth Jazz
2.5%
8.25
5.65
4.00
7.25
-5%
News/Talk
19%
5.75
4.25
4.25
6.50
-10%
Oldies
5%
5.75
4.75
4.50
5.00
-8%
Rock
10%
6.50
7.15
7.50
8.25
-15%
Spanish
12%
7.75
6.25
5.25
4.75
-3%
Urban
11%
6.25
8.00
5.00
5.50
-5%
Sample
4000
 

All members of the sample were required to have spent at least 30 minutes per week with each media listed.

Q: "What is your favorite radio station, the one you listen to most?"

Q: "In an average week, how many hours a day do you spend doing each of the following:"

Internet use comes in second in the list of activities (although it is not a music-related activity per se; it was used as a filter to Internet-based media). 66% of those interviewed said they use the Internet in an average week for nearly 12 hours on average.

For the first time we are seeing the impact of digital media use on traditional radio. Impact by format presents a new way of expressing varying tastes among radio consumers. The following variances are of interest:

  • Listeners to Adult Hits radio stations spend more time with traditional radio than they do with any of the digital options listed.
  • However, Preference 1 listeners (or those that consider Rock radio to be their favorite) who also have satellite radio subscriptions spend less hours per week with their terrestrial favorite than they do with their satellite radio, MP3 player or listening to music on the Internet. Cumulatively, this negatively impacts rock radio listening more than any other format listed.
  • Listeners who consider their Urban formatted station their favorite tend to spend more time with their MP3 players in a typical week than they do with their favorite terrestrial Urban station.

Second to rock radio, Contemporary Hit Radio experiences a significant negative listening due to primarily heavy use by its P1's to their MP3 players.

The Radio program director who understand which digital media entertainment sources can benefit their format will be better prepared to face the competitive future. It is apparent with this study that specific formats have digital media alternatives which are more complementary to radio use than others.

Digging deeper into the findings, listeners who consider news or talk radio to be their favorite, the one they tend to listen to most in a typical week, find podcasts of their favorite radio personalities to be an excellent complement to the terrestrial version of those personalities. Podcasts provide a way for these adult listeners to hear programming they missed but then do not tend to increase time spent listening to those radio stations.

On the other hand, the study found that listeners to Alternative radio stations use those stations as a form of filtering music content that they subsequently search for on the Internet or download from P2P web sites and use on their MP3 players. There is a clear differentiation of use between music radio listeners and non-music radio listeners.

Sample: 4000 persons 15-64 years of age Sample error: +/- 1.6%

For additional information contact Dave Van Dyke at Bridge Ratings: 818.291.6420.

 


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