“Country Radio Broadcasters is pleased to be able to serve our industry by sharing on our website this latest study of Country listeners and consumers, financed by the CRB and conducted by Edison Media Research,” says CRB Executive Director Ed Salamon.
According to Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Edison Research, the study revealed particularly noteworthy trends regarding repetition in country radio playlists, how listeners are finding new music, syndicated versus local programming and the importance of social networks.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people indicate that Country music plays an important role not only in their lives, but in American life. Passion for this format remains very strong, and Country has a real opportunity to continue building deeper relationships with listeners, both online and offline,” Webster said.
To close his presentation, Webster announced four actionable items, summarized below, that stations should consider as a means to help increase their listenership.
1) Leave Deeper Footprints. Marketing initiatives and promotions should be run through an additional “filter” to ensure that listeners are benefiting as much as possible from their local stations, Webster noted. “Stations should be asking themselves, ‘Does this help people?’ This is a great year to show America that Country cares,” he said. Of those surveyed, 84 percent agreed that country music “makes a positive contribution to American life.”
2) Expand Your Presence on Social Networks. According to the study, Facebook has overtaken Myspace as the most popular social network among the P1s surveyed, with 42 percent and 35 percent of the sample reporting profiles on the sites, respectively. Nearly two out of three respondents (62 percent) indicated having a profile on at least one social networking website. Webster encouraged stations to “listen, not blast” through their sites, and advocated a policy of hiring employees with “digital literacy.”
3) Take Repetition Seriously. Results of the study showed that 51 percent of those sampled agree that stations play certain songs to the point that it “becomes annoying.” Data from the Edison survey indicated that variety is increasingly important to listeners. “Stations have to do more than just talk about variety, they have to find ways to build a deeper bench,” Webster warned.
4) Think Visual. Although 87 percent of those surveyed reported radio was “often” their preferred outlet for discovering new music, Webster noted that visual exposure to the artists determined whether or not listeners actually liked the artist. Music video channels (45 percent) and network television appearances (27 percent) were the second and third most popular means of discovering new music, according to those surveyed. “Incorporate video elements of the artists wherever possible,” Webster said.
This is the fourth year the National Country Radio P1 Study was conducted and presented at Country Radio Seminar®. Data was collected from more than 13,000 P1 listeners, age 12-64, between Jan. 31, 2009 and March 1, 2009 across 18 country radio station databases nationwide. The CRB/Edison Research survey is the largest ongoing Country Radio P1 study of its kind.
About Edison Research:
Somerville, NJ-based Edison Research provides media research, consumer market research and public opinion polling to businesses, governments, and news organizations throughout the world. Edison is particularly renowned for its Exit Polling techniques, and is the worldwide leader in the application of Exit Polling to consumer research. To learn more about Edison visit www.EdisonResearch.com.
The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. ® is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 1969 to bring radio broadcasters from around the world together with the Country Music Industry to ensure vitality and promote growth in the Country Radio format. More information may be obtained at: www.CRB.org or at the CRB office at 615-327-4487.