Consumers Love Pandora. Don't Doubt That.
We can tell ourselves how much consumers love us like a high school sweetheart. But do we know how much love they really feel? And if they do love us, what are we doing to keep them feeling that way -- especially in the always-evolving auto dashboard? That is, what are we doing to keep their love in the most important delivery mechanism for radio, and one it has owned forever?
For the last year, the radio story, as told by many radio CEOs, has been about 92% penetration and hundreds of millions of weekly listeners. Perhaps if we ever see a comprehensive ratings system that provides an easy-to-understand number combining online and over-the-air radio listening, we'll know exactly how much listeners love us. But where the real rubber hits the road, the needle hasn't moved very much: Revenue has been flat, and at DASH in Detroit this week, SNL Kagan representative Justin Nielson said radio's big revenue growth will mainly come from digital.
What if an independent third party went around and interviewed consumers – your listeners -- about what they listen to in their cars? The car is radio's Holy Grail, its dominant delivery point. At DASH, Edison Research President Larry Rosin gave us a snippet of what they're saying.
Rosin found out that listeners may still love you -- but they also love Pandora, and they want the ability to take Pandora with them in their cars. At DASH on Thursday, Rosin presented information from a sample of experienced connected car users his company followed around and interviewed.
The focus of the research was to determine whether consumers have an easier time using their DASH infotainment systems after having had time to play with them and learn about the features. These consumers, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, made quite a few interesting statements we thought you'd like to hear. While the research sample was small, to a person, these consumers fawned over Pandora. And it was without any prompting by the questioner.
Why were they not fawning over their local radio stations? Why were they not worried about finding their local DJs?
Here are some of the comments:
"I don't like listening to radio, messing with the commercials. Now I just listen to NPR or Pandora."
"Poor FM radio. I don't listen to it anymore because I don't have to."
"In the old car, we could only listen to radio. Now she [his wife] finds something with the stations we've got and she just sticks with it."
"I listen to whatever I was listening to last on my phone."
"When Pandora annoys me, I listen to satellite radio. I try to listen to something I've paid for first. I can listen to radio anytime."
"When I have a short drive, I listen to radio, usually NPR."
Also, not unexpectedly, they do not want to listen to boatloads of commercials.
Coming Monday in our headlines: an extended video interview with Larry Rosin about his latest research.
(10/25/2013 9:37:46 PM) |
The other take-away from this is that listeners also love NPR. Or at least appreciate it at a high enough rate to actually pay for it (which about 10% do — enough to float the boats of NPR and the rest of public radio).
For many years public radio was dark matter in Arbitron surveys: large (~10-13% shares) but not visible reported in "the book." Commercial radio could therefore ignore it easily.
But it's a force, and remains so because its consumers and customers are the same.
|- Doc Searls|
(10/25/2013 7:15:00 PM) |
You need yet another conference and research company to convince you thaat listeners can do without radio, but LOVE Pandora!
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