Futuri-Nielsen study concludes radio is ready for time-shift revolution

A new Futuri-Nielsen study concludes that there is a “profound appetite” for time-shifted content among radio listeners, particularly among younger audiences, yet those opportunities remain largely untapped.

The study, conducted this past January, looked at perceptions and attitudes of a variety of audiences to time-shifted audio. The email survey involved 602 radio listeners, A18+, who listened for at least one hour in the past week. Nielsen also compared minute-by-minute PPM data against server logs from Futuri’s podcasting, on-demand, and digital audio management system POST, designed for stations to distribute PPM-encoded audio on websites and social platforms. Nielsen measured how much PPM credit for time-shifted listening stations using POST received vs. stations not using POST.

Among the study’s key takeaways is that just like time-shifting revolutionized TV, it is revolutionizing audio with the same shifts being observed that happened around video consumption in the early days of DVRs. It found more than half of radio listeners 18+ would listen to short audio clips on social media. Among that group, nearly eight in 10 would listen to time-shifted clips of radio station content.

Younger audiences and heavy radio users, leaning male, are the sweet spot for time-shifted radio content, which Futuri-Nielsen says presents a unique opportunity for News/Talk and Sports stations looking to expand appeal with younger demos, but also signals an opportunity for youth-targeted music formats to drive further engagement.

The study concludes that station websites and mobile apps matter as much as social media. More than half of listeners tuning into time-shifted content discover the content via station websites, and one-third listened via the station’s app. A heavy majority (70%) would visit the station website to listen to short audio clips, nearly half would share clips on social media, and more than a third would download the station app to listen.

The study also found listeners interested in time-shifted radio content are 3.3x more likely than those not interested to talk about radio with others often, 2.7x more likely to participate in radio station events or contests, 2.2x more likely to access radio content online, and 78% more likely to name a particular personality they like.

Half of listeners aware that radio stations were posting time-shifted content said they have listened to that station in the past 30 days, indicating strong conversion from awareness to tune-in.

Awareness of time-shifted content low

Radio has yet to actualize its potential in the time-shifted space, according to Futuri-Nielsen’s findings. Awareness of time-shifted radio content remains low with only three-in-10 radio listeners aware of its availability.

Futuri-Nielsen goes further to say that station programmers need to stop thinking in dayparts, in favour of segments.

“The audience wants a broad range of content—from quick benchmarks to full shows. Vary lengths of content,” the study asserts. “Radio is ready for a revolution, just like TV experienced. Radio needs to embrace its new channels of distribution and time shift content to platforms the younger listeners use regularly such as YouTube, Twitter, and SoundCloud.”

“Radio needs to evolve its distribution strategies to remain competitive, stimulate audience growth, and create additional opportunities for advertisers, or it risks major audience and revenue erosion. And it needs to do so in a manner that maximizes the ROI on all content it creates.”

Download the full study here.

Originally posted on Broadcast Dialogue – Canada’s broadcast industry publication of record >

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