Kids & Tweens Radio Preferences Revealed
The survey - conducted in New York City, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Los Angeles - indicated that children have very distinct listening preferences that can be targeted for delivering specific messages. Format preference was apparent at an early age, along with the difference between the sexes.
In Los Angeles, for example, 67% of the girls, age six to 11, preferred a Top 40 station while 71 % of the boys in the same age range preferred a rhythmic contemporary hits radio (CHR) station.
"We now see that developing our audience at a young age is important," said Roy Laughlin, president and general manager, KIIS-FM, Los Angeles. "These six- to 11-year-olds grow up, and it's gratifying to see specific formats like ours are attracting future 25- to 54-year-olds. In addition to the immediate benefits of validating an even larger audience, there is a plethora of new non-spot opportunities for advertisers."
This is the first syndicated local market ratings survey made available by Arbitron that explores the listening habits of kids (six- to eight-year-olds) and "tweens" (nine- to 11-year-olds).
Additional findings were as follows:
- Children are loyal listeners and usually stick with one or two stations; - Boys and girls show different listening preferences; - Kids and tweens show different listening preferences; - Standard Arbitron diaries can capture children's listening; - Listenership among children, age six to 11, is strongest in the afternoon/evenings, before school in the mornings and on weekends.
"The survey confirms what we suspected, that radio fits into children's lifestyles and is a frequent companion at an early age," said Rick Berger, president of Next Generation Radio, which develops business for the radio industry focusing on youth-targeted brands. "We were, however, surprised by the loyalty of the youngsters to stations and formats. This is information stations and advertisers can use to their advantage."
The study becomes even more revealing when combined with Arbitron's data for teenage (age 12 to 17) listeners and adults (age 18+). For example, while teenagers and those over 18 listen to more radio, they also listen to more stations. The kids and tweens, however, listen to more radio on the weekends than teenagers.
"We found it particularly revealing that the youngsters have one favorite station and stick with it almost constantly, unlike their older siblings who switch between three and four stations," said John Fullam, senior vice president of AMFM Inc, New York City. "They certainly qualify as 'loyal listeners'."
"Everything matches up perfectly when you compare how the kids and 'tweens' spend time with radio to teens and adults," said Marc Kalman, general manager, KDWB-FM