There are 75 million baby boomers who grew up on radio and make up the core audience for the medium.
But there are 95 million Millennials – some as old as 30 and already in the money demo making this audience critical to radio’s future.
Baby boomers can’t imagine life without radio even as they age out of the money-demo.
And Millennials can’t imagine living with radio. It’s their smartphones and digital devices that they are addicted to.
The youngest baby boomer turned 50 this year.
And Gen X was a comparatively smaller generation with 45 million adults. Remember, they didn’t have smartphones and iPods but they had MTV and coined the phrase “radio sucks”.
If radio pursues baby boomers and older Gen Xers, their life span for audiences is short and the future is difficult at best.
If they opt to go after a Millennials generation that can live without radio, it isn’t easy as it sounds. Millennials want things from radio that the industry largely doesn’t recognize.
But there are hopeful signs of answers that I have discovered in my work as a USC professor focusing on generational media and recent sociological findings.
By focusing on what Millennials want, baby boomers can also become reinvigorated.
In other words, innovate and reinvent radio for Millennials because they are early adopters and if you do the right things, baby boomers will follow.
If you’re having trouble with this concept, think only of Steve Jobs and Apple.
Everything he invented was aimed at the very young next generation.
But then the older market – the later adopters – followed, which is why you see Apple stores loaded with kids and adults both buying products. And why you see 70 year olds whipping through their iPad screens.
I’m going to reveal 7 of the most important things to win the hearts of Millennials and all seven will also appeal to baby boomers.
It is possible to innovate on the young end and win the older end as well.
It is not possible to double down on the things that baby boomers liked about radio because their lives have also changed from their early radio days.
Now, baby boomers also binge watch on Netflix as Millennials do.
They, too, have shorter attention spans as witnessed by how many of them own DVRs that skip commercials and give them content on-demand. But popular thought is that only Millennials have A.D.D. and short attention spans.
What we’re learning is it is no longer safe or accretive to embrace the status quo, and to just put younger voices on the air is not an answer.
So, learn the 7 things that Millennials must have to become an avid radio listener and benefit from the response of baby boomers to those things.
Here are the other critical issues on the agenda in Philly:
- Disrupting what consolidators have turned our radio industry into. We can’t do this by just changing formats. It’s going to take a nuclear option and I’ve got one for you that is so big it will push your consolidated competitors back with no option to compete with you.
- Master digital. Digital isn’t a product. It’s a technology. Every radio broadcaster needs to start a second stream of revenue separate and apart from radio. Let’s create some content. There are some dazzling possibilities out there. I will share.
- Create your own social media. If you tie yourself to Facebook, Twitter or even the current rage, Instagram, you’re going down with them. There’s a better way. Make your own social network and drive it with content and revenue possibilities. It’s being done under the radar by some smart people right now.
- Reinvent radio. Stop thinking of it as hourly hot clocks and redesign it to be compelling to the very audience we can’t seem to attract – 95 million Millennials. They dislike radio but they like some things we’re not currently doing. Interested in providing this content for younger money demos? It takes an open mind and some creativity.
- Video. Video. Video. We’re wasting valuable time. You must be in this business but it is not what you think it is. Let me show you real success stories including one entrepreneur who makes $3 million a year by doing a free 5-minute weekly video. No commercials, banner ads, product placement or subscription fees. I’m going to play it, talk about it and answer your questions. This is ingenious.
- The key to attracting Millennials. There is basically nothing radio has to offer right now that Millennials can’t get somewhere else. The secret to attracting Millennials is to build your station for them. I know, that sounds awful, but Steve Jobs didn’t design Apple products for later adopters. He mastered the early adopters by finding out the “radical” things they couldn’t resist. We can do this and here’s the plan.
- Time shift radio. Look, if you get nothing else out of this learning session you must become skilled at time shifting content. Binge watching is the rage. Broadcasting is out. It doesn’t mean the end if we know how to time shift our content. I’ll tell you everything I know about this.
A day of information and inspiration where we work together. I’m putting more time aside this year for questions.
This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person.
I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in person.
Down to 2½ weeks until conference day.
Reserve a seat
Inquire about group rates
If you’d like to stay on-site at The Rittenhouse Hotel, mention you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”. The Rittenhouse is holding some rooms at $249 for conference attendees only. Call 800-635-1042 and ask for Alyson Lurie.