Part 5: The Four Radio Listener Types

Reading time: 3 minutes

Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing a series of articles based on a recent research project conducted by Xtra Insights. While these articles can be read individually, we suggest reading them sequentially so you can follow along more easily. If you haven’t already, we recommend reading this article first:
Part 1: Is Music Still The Bricks Of Radios’ Format?
Part 2: The New Era of Audio and Media Consumption
Part 3: One From The Programmers – Radio Now and In The Future
Part 4: The TSL Lifecycle
Part 6: The Radio Listener Journey

Recently, Xtra Insights interviewed close to 3000 participants across eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region to understand people’s views on music, radio, as well as their general audio consumption habits. This project focused specifically on people aged 16-39, as this group are considered to be the future of radio, not to mention the perception that the youngest of this demographic isn’t as radio friendly as previous generations.

This study was also an opportunity to gain a better understanding of peoples’ motivations for listening to radio. From our research we identified four distinct radio listener types; Music Discoverers, Content Lovers, Passive Listeners, and Music Mainstreamers. While there were some overlapping characteristics between these listener types, there were clear trends that helped to define each group.

Music Discoverers tend to be on the younger end of the scale and are highly motivated when it comes to seeking out the latest music releases. They prefer music-focussed radio stations and have strong radio TSL. They’re also more likely to be daily users of streaming music services, with over 50% paying for a service. When asked about music discovery, they have a strong desire to be ahead of the curve, which was also evident in their early adoption of new technologies.

Content Lovers were dominated by males and prefer radio stations with an equal mix of music and creative content. When we looked at the motivators for Content Lovers in mature radio markets, the shows and announcers held more importance. Whereas those from developing radio markets were driven to listen by a desire to stay informed with what’s happening in their local community. This group were less likely to use streaming music services daily; however, they were still regular users of streaming music services. Their love of content extended to podcasts too, with over 50% listening to a podcast at least once a week.

Passive Listeners were predominantly female and over the age of 30. When it comes to the type of radio station they listen to, their preference is for an equal mix of music and creative content. While this group had very high Radio TSL, their key motivators to listen were radio’s convenience of being an ‘easy option’ as well as the company it provides. Not surprisingly, this group were also slower to adopt new technologies.

Last but certainly not least, the Music Mainstreamers were the biggest group. As the name suggests, this group prefer listening to music-focussed radio stations, particularly those playing mainstream hits. Their main motivation to listen is to hear music they already know and like. They’re also heavy users of streaming music services and big consumers of music in general, with almost 90% listening to music from a source other than radio every day. While these groups display defining characteristics, it’s not to say that radio listeners cannot move throughout these groups as they age, and their lifestyles change. In fact, our research suggests that these listener groups are fluid and radio listeners will often journey through these listener groups over their lives.

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