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Is Radio “Portable” Anymore?

Coleman believes NextRadio app can help change youth perceptions

While Baby Boomers grew up listening to transistor radios, the youth of today have not, leading to their perception that the medium isn’t portable. Even if they want to listen to radio outside the car, they don’t know how.

That’s why consumers age 20 to 39 believe they have little access to radio outside their cars, and turn to other sources of audio entertainment when not driving, according to a study from Coleman Insights conducted in cooperation with Emmis Communications. When exposed to, and after using the Emmis-backed NextRadio app, these same smartphone users said they believe NextRadio would make radio mobile, allowing them to listen while they do other things, according to the NAB-funded research.

Coleman Insights President/Chief Operating Officer Warren Kurtzman, along with Coleman’s knowDigital Division President Sam Milkman, conducted interviews with 31 Chicago consumers. The market was chosen because stations in that market have populated the NextRadio platform with content.

“The idea that radio isn’t mobile is striking,” said Kurtzman, “That is, however, the perception among many consumers in their 20s and 30s and it appears that NextRadio has a great opportunity to address that challenge.”

“It’s radio on your phone,” says Kurtzman, who adds that based on the findings, Coleman recommends a promotional campaign should be built around this premise and shared with all participating NextRadio stations. While other benefits, such as lacking a data plan impact and minimal battery impact are also important, they will have little value unless NextRadio is first seen as a source of portability, he adds.

View a streaming video presentation of the study’s findings — the respondents were roughly evenly divided between men and women. Some 50% were mobile streaming users and 50% were not. There was also a roughly equal division between those who had an unlimited smartphone data plan and those with capped data plans.

This is the first of two releases; the second phase of the research, a national, representative quantitative study of 18- to 49-year-old smartphone owners on their interest in NextRadio is due out later this month.