Thursday, October 24, 2013

Young listeners ARE deserting music radio!

Yet another round of Rajar audience figures are manipulated and hyped, and the stations and media agencies are proclaiming how well syndicated commercial radio is doing, to tie-in of course with '40 years of commercial radio'.

But, take a look at the whole long-term picture. 

Graphs from MediaUK* basically show that by aiming only at under 30s stations such as (for example) Capital's flagship one in London, have lost 50-60% of their 'listening hours' in less than 10 years.

No amount of massaging the figures can hide what the second graph 'hours per listener' shows. It's how long people tune-in and stay listening. This is

"useful to know if the audience likes what they hear, or the consistency of the station sound"*. 

It shows the average Capital London listener 'hears' only 4.5 hours of the station in SEVEN days - it used to be 10 ! I'm amazed that any advertising agency would recommend using any station with such figures - what chance do you have of them actually hearing your ad!?

Of course no amount of poor figures, or the fact BBC Radio 2 is light years ahead in audience size, will change the 'system'. But the most important fact it shows is that stations such as Capital are of little use to the young audience seeking new music or a varied musical diet. 

Ofcom and the government should ask if it's really healthy for the UK music industry to be 'led by the nose' by syndicated stations that narrow-cast tiny playlists indistinguishable from those in radio around the world? In a country that is fast losing any local identity, there is nowhere left in commercial radio for the next generation of musicians and song-writers to go....... and it's their music that British radio needs to survive.

1 comment:

  1. The new media landscape is making it more difficult to attract more hours. In 1999, we didn't have the internet at any sort of level that it is now, therefore no Facebook, no Twitter, no smartphones and iPads with bundles of apps, no catch-up services plus even video games weren't in the mainstream. No where near as much added pastimes that also demand hours of a young person's life, so it's not simply down to the reduction of output quality.

    This is without considering how much the music landscape has changed - another massive contributing factor.