Conducted by Edison Research and presented by company President Larry Rosin, this year’s study surveyed over 1,000 country fans ages 18-54. These “non-P1” listeners comprised 65 percent of total country fans, which make up about 40 percent of the overall interviews conducted.
Among the findings:
—Local and live personalities make for the most important competitive advantage for AM/FM stations in a fragmented media marketplace where potential listeners can also choose Pandora or Spotify. Rosin drove this point home to thunderous applause. “Every time we voicetrack a daypart or fire a local radio personality, we are shaving away our advantage as an industry.”
—Non P1s are more than twice as likely to be new (within the last 10 years) fans of the country format.
—One in six non-P1’s prefer country music from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
—Ninety percent of the non-P1’s feel Country makes a positive contribution to America. Four out of five say lyrics in country songs express their feelings.
—Non-P1’s are more likely to be church-goers than P1’s.
—Non-P1’s are more likely to be aware of Pandora, iHeartRadio or Spotify and less inclined to regularly listen to AM/FM.
Rosen used the analogy of Marshall Field’s flagship downtown department store in early 20th century Chicago, when there were no other options. As the city grew and the population spread to the suburbs, closer alternatives popped up and people began to abandon the central store. Field had to go find customers where they lived. AM/FM stations have held that flagship status for a long time, but now other alternatives are popping up. Rosin urged the crowd to meet potential listeners where they are using new technologies, with live/local personalities.
Full CRS 2012 Country Radio research study is available at www.edisonresearch.com.