Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Edison Research's Youth Study 2010

The crack team at Edison Research just released a great study of 12-24s at the NAB and online (read it here).

The study showcases the differences from 2000 to 2010 in the younger audience on a number of fronts.  We can see that they still have an interest in radio, but the wealth of new media and the smart phone world are more and more appealing to our potential future audience every day.  It's killing a lot of TSL for terrestrial radio and you can also see that the lack of interest our industry seems to have for this younger audience is damaging the future.

In the last post on this blog we broke down the population numbers that will likely become fact when the census hits in a few months.  The 15-30 year old age group will be bigger than the boomers we've relied on for audience and revenue for 30 years will be a fading demo.

While the study points out a number of great suggestions on addressing the 12-24 side of the younger demo we also need to look at the 22-34s that were also included in the Edison study.  Perhaps Edison will release more data on this group but the 1 chart they included on the types of stations they listened to back in 2000 and what they claim to listen to now:

The growth of Top 40/Hits is pretty obvious given the strength of the format and the music for the last 18 months.  Country is also on the rise with the youth movement in the format.  Other gainers include Christian, Classic Rock and even Classical.  The big losers are all forms of Rock, Rap/Hip Hop and R&B.   Also note that there are 9 shares missing in the 2010 data - that is probably due to the lower listening numbers to all radio in the decade.

When you look at the movement over the last decade in both Alternative and Hard/Active Rock to a lot more older songs in the mix and a lot less current music you probably have answered the 'why' question.   Rock formats clearly have a big challenge ahead with the under 34 audience.  It may be harder to find new music with the record companies struggling, but it's out there and somehow rock programmers need to find it.

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