CCM+E Releases Study On "State Of Listening In America"
May 10, 2013

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment (CCM+E) has released the results of an extensive study of the "State of Listening in America." The survey looks at "radio’s continued, widespread popularity, particularly among Millennials and Generation Z, who listen to radio regularly and describe it as 'trustworthy,' 'human' and 'relate-able.' The research was conducted for CCM+E by research firms Latitude Research and OpenMind Strategy, and also reveals that listeners enjoy connecting with their favorite stations and on-air personalities via social media, illustrating how social media has made radio increasingly interactive and personal.

The study shows that 92 percent of Americans regularly tune in to AM/FM radio and that much of this listening happens at or near a place of purchase – radio’s significant and "unique selling proposition," in the words of advertising icon David Ogilvy. Additionally, 85 percent of listeners feel radio is more accessible than ever, which demonstrates that digital media, including Clear Channel's iHeartRadio, has fueled category growth and expanded radio’s accessibility and relevancy. Also a majority of listeners view on-air personalities as local celebrities and reported that DJs engage listeners regularly on both digital and broadcast platforms.

"It’s gone from calling in [to the station], to texting, to Twitter," said one participant. "It keeps getting easier" [to be part of the radio station’s community]. Listeners also revealed that they prefer on-air advertising that is creative, humorous, leverages on-air talent and is generally "more like radio."

"This research confirms that radio’s reach and appeal remain strong regardless of the platform, geography, ethnicity, or age group," said Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman. "American listeners – particularly younger generations – feel a strong connection to their favorite on-air radio personalities – which is made stronger by social media – in a way that isn’t replicated by other media."

The following are among the study’s key findings:

  • 92 percent of all respondents listen to radio at least once a week.
  • 69 percent agree "streaming services do not replace radio."
  • 80 percent say radio is helpful in discovering new artists or songs.
  • 82 percent say the first thing they do when they get in a car is turn on the radio.
  • 66 percent agree that their favorite radio stations reflect who they are as a person.
  • 78 percent agree that radio has the power to make a difference in the community and 72 percent believe radio is more community-oriented than TV.
  • 85 percent say radio is more accessible than at any time before and 78 percent say they can access radio anywhere.
  • Radio advertising is viewed more positively than ads on TV, internet and mobile apps.
  • 72 percent believe that radio feels more “human” than the internet and 65 percent believe it is more "personal" than TV.
  • 71 percent say radio is a part of their daily routine.

"This is the first time the industry has looked so closely at the state of audio in America today," said Dr. Radha Subramanyam, EVP, Insights, Research and Analytics at CCM+E. "The study represents a major step forward in understanding how hundreds of millions of Americans engage with radio and audio content and advertising every day."

The results were presented by Dr. Subramanyam, who holds a PhD in Radio, Television and Film, to an audience of major advertisers and included a performance by Rod Stewart at the iHeartRadio Theater presented by PC Richard and Son. CCM+E partnered with Latitude Research and OpenMind to survey more than one thousand respondents. The report also includes insights gleaned from live focus groups, ethnographies and journals from Americans across the country.

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Jon Zellner
EVP/Programming Operations

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