As radio tries to make that wide turn to keep up with the digital maelstrom, consider a new research study from Universal McCann ("The New Digital Divide") that tracks how heavy Internet users in the 16-34 age group are using new and old media.
If you're programming or managing an Alternative (or CHR or Hip-Hop) station, is your station truly in-sync with the listeners you're trying to attract? Consider the following:
- Over 75% instant message
- Almost four in ten have met someone in person as a result of the Internet
- Over four in ten use MySpace
- Seven in ten have taken part in a blogging activity
- A third has participated in peer-to-peer file sharing
- Seven in ten have listened to Internet radio
- Four in ten listen to the radio while they're online
- Only 6% say they would really miss the radio if it were to disappear (compared with about 26-27% for television and the Internet)
This study continues to reinforce the power of streaming. If you're running youth-targeted terrestrial radio stations that don't stream, you're losing these people - fast.
The other key notion is how radio is quickly becoming a utility. Not only wouldn't these young consumers miss radio all that much if it were to no longer exist, radio advertising has little impact on them.
All of this underscores the continued evidence that radio is losing America's youth - and at an alarming rate. Download this study, read it for yourself, and start asking questions. The toothpaste is rapidly oozing out of the tube.