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Radio’s “Hardware Problem” Discussed

Edison finds fewer country listeners have a bedroom radio

Anecdotally, engineers and others in the radio industry have told Radio World for awhile they see fewer radios for sale these days.

That’s why we reported last week that iBiquity has launched its own private label tuner line, for online sales.

Now, a new study from Edison Research presented at the Country Radio Broadcasters convention taking place this week places some figures to the stories.

Only 36% of those who describe themselves as frequent country music radio listeners have a radio in their bedroom, compared to 59% who have a television instead, according to Edison Research and the CRB. Edison’s Larry Rosin and Megan Lazovick presented the study on morning habits and media usage of more than 1,500 respondents.

They studied the “first moments in a person’s day — everything from what they do while still laying in bed to what they do while sitting at work,” stated Rosin. “Radio needs to make sure it stays competitive in those first moments of the day and adjust its strategy if necessary to do so.”

Rosin said the technology used in respondents’ bedrooms clearly indicated that radio has a “hardware problem.” “How can you win the hardware battle? What could we do to get radios in people’s bedrooms?”

The study tracked respondents’ activities throughout the morning. Choosing from a list of some 60 items, the average respondent said he/she did one-third of the activities listed between the hours of 5–10 a.m.

Commenting on the results, CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne stated, “I find the takeaways that programmers look for are ‘content and software issues.’” As the landscape of listener habits have changed, “it’s revealing to think that people now check email and social media before brushing their teeth.”