Getting Millennials To Listen To Radio

Millennials have no real relationship with a radio station.

Not true of baby boomers who to their dying day still recall their favorite stations and personalities.

Even Gen Xers who were first to coin the term “radio sucks” had no real other choice the way 86 million Millennials do.

Gen Xers are today’s podcasters and they are cheating on radio.

The important thing is to build relationships.

And it’s time radio stations that are serious about succeeding in a digital age rethink the way they connect with Millennials.

One thing is for sure.

If we’re serious about attracting Millennials who constitute 100% of the prime 18-34 year old demographic now, radio is going to have to be open to some pretty substantial changes.

The way we talk to Millennials must change.

Each station must adopt the 5 most important values Millennials care about the most yet most stations don’t even know what these values are.

I’m going to get into all of this at my Philly Conference in 5 weeks from now because it is possible to have a new beginning with the digital generation.

But we only have one chance to get it right.

The timing is right which is why I have elevated this topic to the top of the list. Millennials are growing tired of streaming music services and they are sure not paying for them. Even Spotify only has 20 million paid subscribers. Apple Music about half that.

Radio can offer a new approach to music which will take away any advantage millions of songs on-demand can have. But no station is doing this yet. You will at least want to hear about it and be early to adopt if it is right for you.

How to prevent Millennials from being drive-by listeners who tune-in and then turn to their other devices – the digital ones. I’ll give you three compelling strategies that you will love. This will hook even the most skeptical Millennial as you’re about to hear.

Changing time-tested radio formats and go with a “no rules” approach. Millennials hate rules. The hot clock is out but how do you maintain order?

The importance of doing news but not newscasts. And not fast paced entertainment reports with music behind them. The Twitter approach to news – yes, even on a music station. Let me describe the sound and then fire away with questions.

New uses for radio that fit into the Millennial lifestyle.

Let’s be honest, radio hasn’t come up with a new format in three decades.

And new formats alone are not the only answer – a new use for radio is. And before our time together is up, you’ll hear my ideas and contribute your own.

As I said, the hour is late. It’s more than time for some deadly honest approaches to strengthen radio.

How to get Millennials to listen to radio.

Here are 9 other critical issues on deck for the April 6th meeting:

  1. Change the way we talk to audiences. Radio dates itself every time the mic is open, but audiences want authenticity, no hype and at least three other things that most radio stations do not have. Training to teach on-air people to sound the way the audience sounds. How to get away from: “this station is not for me” to a new affinity. Sweepers, positioners – how are they testing with Millennials?
  2. Making money from digital.  Enough, already. What most stations are doing is not generating very significant digital revenue. Here’s what they are missing that can work for you.
  3. Getting Millennials to listen. After we change the way we talk to 18-34 year old audiences, what is so compelling that they will have to listen. How about three things that have never been done that I think you will agree will make radio a destination again even in the digital age.
  4. Reinvigorating the morning show. See where I’m going with all this so far. We can’t blow up everything but there are changes we can make like the way we talk to audiences, the things we do to make radio relevant to them, improving digital and this one – redesigning outdated morning shows that 18-34’s are not relating to. Then generate 50-60% of your total station’s revenue from the more relevant morning show alone.
  5. Outpacing radio’s declining revenue trend. Every financial analyst is calling for a negative year -- off anywhere from 1% to over 5%. And yes, price gouging by major consolidators is helping radio’s race to the bottom. Let’s cut to the chase. What can be done to outperform this negative trend? Fighting rate cuts, over-bonusing, short-term flights, unwillingness to pay a premium plus adding revenue from subscriptions (don’t knock it), product placement and digital so foreign to radio you will likely be the first in your market doing it.
  6. A Millennial Station Makeover – leave with a long list of things you can do to make the rest of your station sound cool to critical 18-34 while also meeting with the approval of your older audiences.
  7. What to do about podcasting, which doesn’t monetize well but intrigues Gen X and baby boomer audiences.      
  8. Standing up to a rigged ratings system. Harker Research and Sean Hannity will share research that shows the type of listening talk and music stations are losing with PPM ratings and how to fight back and reclaim the listening you’ve earned.
  9. Eliminating listener’s biggest objections. At least start with this and tear down some barriers to increased listening.

A day of information and inspiration where we work together. This is an interactive format so you can participate to the fullest extent.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person.
I can’t wait to bring our collective enthusiasm together using this blueprint to make a real difference in doing great radio.

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