Classical Listeners Spend Big Bucks Online

  • by October 24, 2002
Classical radio fans spend big bucks online, purchasing goods and services via the Internet at a rate that is well above average. According to the latest national radio format study from Scarborough Research, Classical listeners are 30% more likely than the norm to have made an Internet purchase in the past 12 months. In addition, they are 49% more likely than average to have spent large amounts ($1,000 or more) online during the past year.

"The Classical radio format listener is a well-educated consumer who appreciates quality and value," noted Howard Goldberg, senior vice president, Radio, Scarborough Research. "This format, which reaches established consumers with discretionary income, provides an excellent opportunity for advertisers to reinforce brand loyalty and to solidify their positions as preferred product and service providers.”

The study, based on Scarborough’s USA+ database, revealed that Classical listeners prefer to purchase items online that are consistent with their well-educated, upscale reputation. For instance, they are 59% more likely to purchase airline tickets via the Internet, 55% more likely to purchase books, and 55% more likely to buy computer hardware. Perhaps one reason that Classical fans are so willing to spend money online is that they have adopted super-speedy broadband Internet connections at a faster rate than the general population. The study indicates that Classical listeners are 47% more likely to have a DSL broadband connection at home and 26% more likely than average to have a cable modem.

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Another factor behind Classical fans' penchant for online purchasing is that they have plenty of money to spend. The study confirmed Classical listeners' reputation for affluence, finding that 39% have household incomes over $75,000 and 77% own their homes. As could be expected, they are also very well educated. Classical fans are 60% more likely to hold a four-year college degree and are over three times as likely to hold a postgraduate degree. The Classical format also skews to the older audience, with over 42% of listeners age 55+ tuning in.

Nationally, 6% of American adults 18+ have listened to Classical radio in the past week. But when it comes to concentrations of Classical fans, Washington, DC hit the highest notes, with 16% of the population tuning in to the Classical format. Other high-ranking markets include West Palm Beach, FL (15%); Harrisburg, PA (11%) and Minneapolis, MN, San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, New York, NY and Tucson, AZ, (all at 10%).

According to the study, Classical fans display many distinct purchasing preferences. For instance, Classical fans are heavy consumers of financial products and services. They are 57% more likely than the norm to have a money market account, 64% more likely to use a full-service stockbroker, and 45% more likely to engage a financial planner. Classical fans also love to drive foreign cars. They are 56% more likely to own/lease a luxury foreign vehicle and 24% more likely to own/lease a foreign SUV.

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