Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Radio's Lowly Position in Bedroom Project Study

A presentation during Radio Active: The Canadian Radio Conference (part of Canada's upcoming Music Week in March) will discuss the Bedroom Project, an ethnographic study of the media habits of young people (17-28 years old) conducted by Arbitron. According to the executive summary of the study,

"Radio is often relegated to a secondary media choice, and an alarming number of Bedroomers do not have (or rarely use) an AM/FM radio in their homes. In some of the interviews, radio is a nonfactor until the required trip to the car. For those who don’t have a radio in their primary dwelling, its role in their overall media/entertainment scheme is minimal. For everyone else, there is typically more enthusiasm about other entertainment choices and newer technologies. Radio’s lack of CVC (control, variety, and choice), combined with perceptions of excessive commercials and being 'old school'—often drops its status among other media. As noted, most of the meaningful radio discussions in these interviews occurred when we visited the respondents’ vehicles. To that end, radio’s traditional listening locations are being threatened by new devices. Portability has been usurped by personal MP3 players, in-home radio listenership is overshadowed by myriad gadgets, and even in-car listening is being challenged by current and future MP3 connectivity."

The Bedroom Project website is also hosting some video clips from the interviews with teens and young adults from L.A. and Columbus, Ohio discussing the role that radio plays in their lives. One respondent actually mentions how much she loves radio and likes the fact that she can select stations based on her mood.

Based on the report and clips, it should be an intriguing, yet depressing presentation for the commercial radio audience at this conference! On Arbitron's website you can access additional free reports about radio, including format trends and trends in listenership by age.

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