The Listening is Easy

  • by July 25, 2001
The Listening is Easy

From Edison Media Research comes a new study of "Radio's Future: Today's 12 to 24 year olds" to assess the Arbitron findings showing a continuing drop in listening time among this age group. Though the impact of the data collected may be of greater relevance to stations in planning their market offerings, the psychographics of these 52 million people are well worth understanding in planning any media campaign of marketing strategy.

Very few radio stations target this demographic. In most markets, there is not a single radio station that researches 12-17s, and at best there is one station that is truly courting the youth market. The study sample was weighted to reflect the age, sex, and race of this group according to US Census estimates.

The research answers some interesting questions on why care about this market segment when 25-54 is the dominant market factor today.

- Between the ages of 12 and 24 people develop media habits and loyalties that can last a lifetime.

-The teens and early twenties is the time when music takes on by far the biggest role in most people’s lives

- Historically, radio listening increases profoundly between the time one turns 12 and the time one "graduates" to 25.

- Eventually this group will turn 25 and be part of the all-important sales demographic.

One aspect affecting radio listening is the extremely busy lives that 12-24s lead. The study finds that 80% of this group are full-time students. Nearly all 12-17s are full-time students, with 63% of 18-24s being full-time students as well. 44% agreed that a lack of time limited their listening. At the same time, a majority of young people work. 15% of the sample work full-time, and 35% work part-time. Many are both students and workers.

Just under 75% of the 12-24s interviewed said that they regularly listen to the radio in the morning. This number far outpaces television (38%), newspapers (29%), or the Internet (16%). The only entertainment that appears to come close to radio is 75% who listen to music on cassette or CD. And, radio is the dominant medium that young people say they use the most in the mornings. When asked what got the most of their time, radio was the option cited by 44% of the sample, twice the result for any other medium.

For more, including charts and graphs go here.

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