Sunday, June 08, 2008

Once upon a time in the radio biz

In the early days of my career in advertising and marketing, I had a job where buying media, especially radio, was one of my responsibilities. Later, I sold radio time (a rotten business to be in, I assure you). Thus I was interested in this item about a media usage study among teens.

In one study for a CHR-formatted station in a top 20 market, 84% of 14- to 17-year-olds reported listening to music on a computer, iPod or MP3 player every day. 78% listen to AM or FM radio.

In a separate study, when asked the question, "Where is the first place you go to hear music?" 41% of 15- to 17-year-olds said iPods or other MP3 players, 27% said their computers and 22% said FM radio.

Nothing terribly surprising about this. Radio stations spend so much time chattering that they have little time for music -- even a person of my age wouldn't go there for music. In the car, I hook up my MP3 player to the radio. At home, I listen to XM via DirecTV.

But the fascinating thing for me was that in my earlier career, the one absolute certainty in media buying was that, if you wanted teenagers, you had to buy radio. Now, as noted in the item below about the blurring of media, you might want to advertise on a video game.

(Another point to be considered is that, although the study only mentions radio, I suspect there is a similar drop in teen usage of TV, which is also be replaced by iPods, other personal video devices, and video games).

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