Research: All you want to know about millennials

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The future of radio and many other audio forms is in the hands of ‘millenials’, the name given to those born between 1980 and 2000.

Whilst this group regularly listens to the radio, the overall time spent doing so is declining. In this session, audience researchers​,​ Patrick Collins and Siobhan McMenemy from ​the ​BBC in the U​K​​,​ and Tom Webster​,​ from Edison Research in the US​,​ examined how audio listening is changing and offered a few suggestions for where the focus of the radio industry should be over the coming years​.

Interestingly, for 15-24s in the UK, radio listening is declining at home but growing in car. In fact, recently in car radio reach overtook the home for the very first time and helped to sustain radio’s overall reach for this group. The top five reasons why 15-24s listen to radio is for entertainment, background noise, music discovery, to relax, and to keep up date – compared with older audiences where music discovery and background noise are much further down the list. Patrick and Siobhan discussed how the challenge for the BBC is to come up with new ways ​to pair utility with these need​s​.

Looking over to the US, Tom ​Webster ​emphasised how radio is in good health. Monthly online radio listening is going up, with radio reaching 83 percent of 18-34s​. Like the UK, keeping up to date with new music is most important for younger audiences but the sources they use to do so ​are changing. Friends and family, have replaced radio ​as number ​one​ for music discovery.

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