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Gen Z Says “Meh” to FM DJs

NuVoodoo survey tracks generational tastes in radio hosts

“Radio hosts on FM still matter, but DJs must work harder appealing to younger audiences.”

So concludes NuVoodoo Media Services, citing its survey of people who are likely to wear a Nielsen meter or fill out a ratings diary. The company has a webinar coming up and has released some of the survey results as a teaser.

[Read: Reports Offer Insights on the Podcast Listener]

“With so many changes in audio listening through the COVID-19 pandemic, NuVoodoo took at fresh look at the relationship listeners have with DJs and hosts on FM music stations,” it stated.

The survey had about 3,500 respondents age 14 to 54; they were interviewed in early January

“Overall, it’s more positive than negative,” said NuVoodoo EVP, Research Leigh Jacobs, who was quoted in a press release.

NuVoodoo Media Services, radio listenership, DJ popularity

“But there is a sharp generational shift. Gen Xers — raised on radio and now 40-plus — are largely positive, with a 43% plurality giving DJs a thumb’s up. Millennials, though somewhat less enthusiastic, are overall net positive, as well. Meanwhile, nearly three-fourths of Gen Z listeners give radio air talent no better than thumbs sideways,” he said.

EVP, Marketing Mike O’Connor said past studies have highlighted differences between those who’d say “yes” to Nielsen and those who would never participate in radio ratings, with the former group showing greater proportional enthusiasm for the role of air talent.

“But the data about DJs from listeners giving radio its report card was really surprising to us, and it looked quite a bit different than other findings from likely panelists and diary-keepers.”

Its webinar series starts Feb. 11. The company promised “to dive deeper and show the differences in DJ perceptions across demos, ethnic groups and format preferences.”