Experts warn radio the time to bring in younger demos is now

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Issue Date: 
May 22 2013 - 6:20pm

From Issue:

Fred Jacobs and Jerry Del Colliano both note this week that radio's "systemic" ambivalence towards the younger set will likely eventually have disastrous results for AM/FM radio.

Jacobs actually refers to "Generation Z's" (today's under-18s), Del Colliano "Millennials" (young adults), but they make a similar point: "When radio loses generations of listeners, its relevance in the world of media options is going to be called into question," Jacobs wrote in his JacoBlog. Del Colliano says what most broadcasters are doing now, in terms of attracting younger demos, is a "losing formula... driving the essential next generation away from radio."

So, what do broadcasters need to do?

"If you want to know what you’ll be doing in a couple of years or so, study teens," Jacobs wrote. To illustrate, he cites the increasingly popular Snapchat photo/social platform -- mostly ignored by radio.

On his Inside Music Media blog, Del Colliano cranked out ten action steps for broadcasters to better speak to teens and young adults, including reformulating the approach towards "morning shows," reinventing radio's "formatics," and building content designed around a "two minutes or less" attention span.

"Fix what's on the air, buy more years and then personally escort your newfound Millennial listeners to your next business -- digital content," he advised.

Jacobs concludes: "Because if you don’t do the research and take the time to listen and learn from Gen Z, you lose powerful insights into what may be right around the corner – your corner."

Read Fred Jacbos' JacoBlog here, and register for Inside Music Media here.

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