Last month, I highlighted a study that showed the importance of in-car listening for radio station owners and marketers. Consumers are also listening to radio in many other places. However, their media time spent outside their cars is fragmented so local radio stations need to offer consumers what they’re seeking in order to maintain the listening audience for marketers.

A Harker Research study that focused on consumers between the ages of 18-49 who listened to the radio for at least 30 minutes every day found that about half of the listening time is shared with other media formats:

  • Internet 60%
  • Smart phone 55%
  • TV 6%

For now, 83% of listeners say that traditional radio is the way they listen to radio programming but 56% of surveyed respondents also use their computers and 35% using their smart phone to access this programming. When these listeners are online, Pandora is the top site, 69%, for accessing streaming music while the local radio website is a destination for 51%.

In terms of satisfaction, on a scale of 1-10, consumers give their favorite local radio station a score of 8.2. For Pandora, their score is 7.9. Local radio stations are considered more user friendly when compared to other options:

  • Local radio 74%
  • Streaming 69%
  • iPod/MP3 18%

And while radio is considered easy to use, this media format also has the following weaknesses:

  •  Commercials 58%
  • Repetition 32%
  • Excessive talk 15%

While it’s true that radio is consumed concurrently with other media formats, that’s not always the case. Researchers pointed out that the radio format provides entertaining personalities and local information such as news, weather and traffic to consumers who often don’t have another way to access this time-critical content – especially when they’re in the car or at work. In these cases, radio has a captive audience, one that marketers are very much interested in reaching.

[Source: Radio’s Future: Listeners and Content. Harker Research. September 2011. Web. 12 Oct. 2011]