Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Roadmap 2017: Six (of the many) Trends We're Watching for Country Radio

As we prepare to send A&O&B's on-line perceptual “Roadmap 2017” into the field, I thought a look back at some of the many topics we explored in last year’s study would be interesting to share again with the idea of doing a follow-up post to see how these same topics look when we complete this year’s survey.

As background, nearly 10,000 Country Listeners across the US and Canada participated in last year’s project which ran for three weeks in January and February. From that data, I did a quick pull of 18-49 US and Canadian respondents’ feedback on “In-Car Connectivity,” “Switching Behavior,” Station Satisfaction” (different from Music Satisfaction), “Listener Hot Buttons,” “Social Behavior,“ and “Loyalty.”

Here is what the data revealed.
  1. In-car connectivity increased significantly from 2015. While all demos saw an increase compared to last year, 18-34’s were the most likely to be connected compared to 35-54’s. Plus, the percent of connected 18-34s grew at a greater level than that of 35-54s.
  2. Country switching behavior was more decisive – at least in terms of what format listeners switched to when leaving their favorite country station. “Nothing in particular” fell by roughly 30% while the greatest increase was “Switching to another AM/FM radio station with a different format.” The percent switching to a Podcast doubled though that choice was far behind others including “Nothing in particular.”
  3. While overall station satisfaction levels remained high, there was a slight decline again this year the top tier – the “Very Satisfied” response group. The greatest dip was among 18-24s.
  4. “Playing the best music” continues to be the number one “hot button” for listeners followed by “makes me feel good when I listen,” “DJs who sound like my friends,” and song quantity. Last year song/artist identification broke into the Top 5.
  5. The social media platform with the largest increase of daily usage year over year was Instagram.
  6. The P1 "Switichability Resistance" remained strong - near 50% - thus maintaining a high bar for format challengers.
Each of these six pull-outs presents some important thinking points for 2017:
  • How are we leveraging the unique assets we own?
  • What are any listener-perceived vulnerabilities or opportunities?
  • What will our strategy be in a time of lower “switch to” cume?
  • Knowing what listeners’ hot buttons are, how are we satisfying those wants and needs?
  • How are we managing our social media strategies and efforts?

Roadmap 2017 will go into the field this week and provide us with fresh, new listener feedback to consider.  Participating stations will receive not only the national data, but also separate feedback from their own listeners in a special, local, custom breakout. This year, we’ve added even more questions that offer head-to-head local comparisons of the perceptions OUR listeners hold vs. those of our direct format competitors.

We’ll present top line national findings for both the US and Canada surveys at A&O&B’s 23rd annual pre-CRS Seminar in Nashville, Wednesday, February 22nd at 10am.

We hope you can make it.

You can RSVP to the A&O&B session here.

You can register for CRS 2017 here.

Inquire about Roadmap participation here.

No comments: