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Does Your Station Have "Personality?"


Yesterday, a study underwritten by Katz and conducted by the University of Southern California's Annenberg school for communication, could be used as a great sales piece for every salesperson hitting the street. The study confirmed what most people already know, that consumers turn to radio because they have a connection with their favorite personality. More importantly for sellers, nearly 1 out of every two respondent said they considered purchasing a product when their favorite personality recommended it. Here are more details from that study.

USC-Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism professor Paula Patnoe Woodley talks about the study. “Our findings underscore the depth of the relationship, loyalty, and trust between listeners and radio personalities. This connection can be a significant benefit for radio station advertisers as demonstrated by the significant number of study respondents who have considered or purchased services or products advertised during radio shows or recommended by favorite on-air personalities.”

Co-author of the study Lauren Movius added, “With more than half of the respondents saying their favorite radio personality influences their opinion, it is clear that parasocial interaction, or listeners’ feelings that they have real relationships with radio on-air personalities, definitely exists.”

Here are detailed results from the study:
·         75 percent of study respondents reported that they turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air;
·         72 percent of respondents talk to their friends about their favorite personality or what they heard on the program;
·         Notably, listener engagement extended into the online realm, with nearly 70 percent of study participants reporting that they follow their favorite radio personalities and/or radio stations via social media channels;
·         Nearly half (47%) of all respondents considered or purchased products recommended by their favorite radio personalities;
·         More than half (51%) considered or purchased a product advertised during their favorite personality’s show; and
·         Fully 82 percent of study participants expressed feelings and exhibited behaviors consistent with the phenomenon known as “parasocial identification.”

The web-based study that was underwritten by the Katz Radio Group was conducted in November 2011 and was completed by Woodley Communications and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. More than 600 study participants completed all relevant measures; participation was incentivized via entry into a random drawing to win one of five $100 gift certificates. The survey sample was comprised of 70 percent women and 30 percent men, with 66 percent of participants reporting their age as between 18-34 and 90 percent of participants between 18-49 years of age. Survey sample demographics closely aligned with the composition of the Los Angeles population, with respondents consisting of 45 percent Hispanic, 8 percent Asian, 4 percent African-American, and 43 percent other (compared with 48 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Asian, 9 percent African-American, and 42 percent other, according to the most recent U.S. Census). The complete study results are available at   

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