Larry Rosin (pictured) and Megan Lazovick of Edison Research presented detailed information about the Country radio listener at CRS yesterday in an "Ethnographic Study." Lazovick went out across the country and spent days with listeners, observing how they consume music and what the country music format means to them. In addition to reinforcing the fact that Country music songs make an emotional connection with the listener, Edison uncovered more details about how consumers take in their audio entertainment. And, it's all about the path of least resistance. If consumers are in their automobiles, the radio is a very easy selection. If they are in their homes however, radio is facing many more challenges. Listen to our interview with Rosin and Lazovick about this project HERE.
According to CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne, ?Their results yielded from this highly personal and rarely used ethnographic methodology exposes countinued challenges for country radio in the coming years. We are optimistic that the points brought to light in this study will yield considerable discussion in radio circles in the months ahead.?
Among the study?s key findings were:
- Radio?s competition is no longer only between stations. The fight today is against all of the other media: Television(outlets like CMT/GAC/TCN), YouTube, Pandora, and even personal mobile devices.
- People are choosing to listen to the device that presents the path of least resistance. In the car, that remains radio. At home or in the workplace, there is a much more competitive situation: television, in particular, at home and the Internet at work.
- If one listens to radio today, it is often devoid of emotion. And yet when you talk to people in their homes, they place the emphasis on the emotions that country music elicits.
- One of the challenges that Radio faces is the fact that country fans don?t spontaneously equate country music strictly to country radio like the used to. This poses a challenge to radio provide talented DJs/hosts to guide the listeners in a more personal manner.
Rosin says, ?For all of these nearly 40 years of radio research, we have concentrated largely on the hard facts of research, and the easily quantifiable ? answering questions like: what portion of the audience likes this song? What portion of the audience works in an office? But while we call people on the phone, or now contact them on the Internet, or bring them to hotel ballrooms for auditorium music tests or to focus group facilities, there is one place that our research hasn?t gone to ? and that?s straight to the homes of our listeners. And while there in the homes we found an entire line of inquiry we largely hadn?t explored the emotions underneath our work and the real connections that people have to country music and country radio. Radio remains most people?s primary way to interact with the Country Music they love.?
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