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Burns: Women’s Radio Listening Shifting Devices

Women listening more on computers, cellphones, according to new study

Radio listening is not dropping, it’s shifting devices, according to a new study from Alan Burns & Associates.

“Most products enjoy increased consumption when they become available in more places. That’s true with radio” too, says Burns.

In “What Women Want” for 2012, the programming consultant conducted a study of more than 2,000 women, mostly Hot AC and CHR listeners to drill down into their listening habits.

While listening to the over-the-air broadcast of a radio station is down this year compared to last, listening to an AM or FM station’s stream either on a computer or a cellphone is up. Overall, radio listening — on a receiver, computer or cellphone — is up about one percent this year compared to 2011.

Cellphone listening is becoming significant, says Burns.

Some 26% listen to radio on a cellphone on a weekly basis, compared to some 15% a year ago, while listening to AM/FM online streams rose to nearly 43% from 34%, according to the findings. Nearly daily AM/FM online listening on cellphones rose from 8% last year to just over 13% now.

Another observation: The top two ways most women in the survey wake up in the morning are with a cellphone alarm (33.6%) or an alarm clock (25%).

Burns notes that 90% of all smartphone owners have downloaded an app and nearly 50% have specifically downloaded a radio station app.

Most of the radio station apps he’s seen have an alarm function. Yet Burns says he’s not heard any station morning shows promote that feature.

TV does a good job of mentioning the alarm functions on their apps. “Radio needs to be saying, ‘Set your app to us to start your day,’” says Burns.