Each year in January, A&O clients participate in an online perceptual study designed to track common benchmarks of success and compare their local key images to the national averages.
We present highlights/trends from the national data at the annual Albright & O’Malley client seminar in Nashville, just before CRS, so an update for 2011 is less than 90 days away.
2010’s report was based on responses from 8,867 country radio listeners from across North America.
Some evidence that things are evolving: three years ago roughly three of four chose currents and recurrents by historical super stars of the format and hits from the mid-late 2000’s by those same longtime “A artists” as their favorite clusters of music.
Then, two years ago, those percentages suddenly fell and the average listener expressed a lot more interest in currents and recurrents by newer artists ( the non-hstorial superstars).
Is it that the audience has changed and become more open to new artists? Or, since early 2000’s songs by the historical stars remained steady, do listeners feel that their newer music isn’t as strong as their previous releases were?
A&O will have data on that right after the first of the year, but my guess is that it’s BOTH things.
Getting back to those evolving audience clusters I wrote about last week, I’d postulate that you get a quicker life cycle in the convert market because country is not their only market. In transition 30's, you get a longer life cycle. And, in the traditional market, once you hit, you're there.
The biggest difference for country radio comes when you are able to click strongly with all three target groups within our cume.
That’s the distance between doing more or less as well as the average station or hitting cume, TSL and share of total audience levels that are far above the national mean.
It's the difference between "good" and "absolutely great" country music radio.
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