Despite the recent abundance of music streaming apps, radio surprisingly still proves to be one of the top mediums for listeners to discover new music.
In a recent US study on how people are discovering new music, the findings found FM radio neck and neck with YouTube for music discovery. While FM holds off YouTube by a couple of percentage points, FM’s edge is based on its heritage at the 35-54 demo graph. Among the 14-24’s in this sample though, FM falls to third – behind YouTube and Spotify.
While free, instant access to new music on YouTube has become addictive for younger people, the good news is that their eyes and ears are available on YouTube. That means there are powerful ways for a station to employ YouTube to get messaging across to these young consumers – especially if that message can be packaged with content they’d be interested in viewing or hearing. It’s the perfect place to showcase in-studio live recordings and other original content. This also potentially opens a station up to a larger audience than the listening reach may have originally been capable of.
No doubt that new technology has changed the new music playing field forever, but that doesn’t mean radio will have to go quietly. Radio is an amazing curation service (in which many dollars and person-hours are spent in picking songs and building playlists) – and there’s huge value in that service. Stations can build that part of their branding with greater transparency and well-organized efforts to get feedback from listeners.
One of the most important things that radio still has going for it, is the loyalty it is capable of developing with its listeners. And if a listener discovers a new song that they like on a radio station, it will then encourage them to keep listening to that radio station in hopes of discovering more new songs. A snowball effect, if you will, that can lead to attracting a bigger audience.
Although streaming services today do also offer a great and effective mode of discovery, it seems that there may be something just a bit more ‘special’ about discovering songs on the radio, which has kept it at the top. Maybe its knowing that the songs you hear are being heard across the country simultaneously by many others, maybe it’s the way the DJ introduces/discusses these songs when played. Or maybe it falls into a particular style of music which the listener only wants to hear, and for that they will have a station designated to that type of music. Yes, streaming apps also offer this, but having your own favourite radio station may be a bit more personal to some people than having your own favourite YouTube channel.
Whatever the reasons, radio has proved to remain one of the top listening mediums, despite common believe of its dying trend. It is a feat onto itself that despite the abundance of on demand listening apps these days, radio still holds one of the top places for music discovery.
Keep on truckin’ Radio.
Content and survey data courtesy of NuVoodoo Media Services.
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