The radio station - no matter what the format - which dominates “at work” listening has a major edge.
So, everyone’s vying for that marketing niche.
Country’s at work goal is to have about one third of total week average quarter hours from the workplace. Top performing adult contemporary stations often get as much as two thirds of their AQH from “at work.” If a country station had that much I'd worry that it's not being used enough in the other places where the listener uses radio too.
That difference is a clue to understanding a unique aspect of country radio users and other transitional format listeners.
When they are alone in a vehicle or out with their family, they are more likely to listen to country music on the radio.
When they are with others they don't know as well, it sometimes takes a little extra reason to convince them to “fight” (bribe the boss, compromise with coworkers who don’t know they like country yet...) for country on the at work radio.
Weekends are very often country radio’s best audience shares, which means that a top-performing station has to be much more actively involved than more passive radio brands do.
In addition to “at work,” as a major part of lifestyle orientation, country radio must reflect usage of the station at soccer games, yard sales, outdoor activities, going to the movies, attending church, doing chores like laundry, shopping, cooking for the week, doing homework, going to school.
You'll find winning country stations rewarding great bosses, terrific teachers, smart students, for good reason.
Country radio users increasingly have other media begging for their time and attention in all of those places.
They’ll choose media, perhaps without even thinking about it, that appear to reflect their needs and values - at every time and in every place of their busy lifestyles.
Each time you open a mic, ask yourself what "he or she" is doing right now.
Reflect that in your content.
Even better, be there with 'em.
Tale of Two Bar Graphs: Country Shares and Music Scores - If you want to see just how long the current ‘up’ ratings cycle has been going on for country, this just-released Nielsen bar chart and This Week In Music...
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