Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Digital Differences

If you are a manager, programmer, personality or marketer for a contemporary radio station or a cluster with one or more contemporary stations—CHR, CHR-Rhythmic, Hot AC or Urban/Hip Hop—read the following for insights into your listeners’ digital lifestyle. Then, think about two things: (1) how can you make your content more interactive and compelling to this “connected generation,” and (2) how can you expand the number of ways your content reaches this audience across multiple touchpoints.

The latest from the Center for Media Research…

A new study by Universal McCann, "The New 'Digital Divide', How the New Generation of Digital Consumers are Transforming Mass Communication," concludes that consumers are increasingly relying on non-traditional platforms for entertainment, news, social interactions, shopping, and other daily activities.

The Executive Summary reports that there was a time when music was the great divide between generations. Today, technology has become the source of the "generation gap." A younger, tech savvy segment adopting new media platforms, with the 16-34 age group leading the way in socializing:

  • The age group 16-34 is 25% more likely than ages 35-49 to use instant messenger, with over 75% of ages 16-34 currently using at least one service.
  • About 40% age P16-34 belong to a social network site; this is twice the percentage of 35-49 year olds.
  • Nearly 40% of are16-34 have met someone face to face after meeting on the Internet.
  • Yahoo, AOL and MSN Messenger are among the top Internet services in terms of awareness and use by ages16-34.
  • This is followed closely behind by social networking site, Myspace.com with 43% of 16-34's being current users. In comparison, only 16% of 35-49's are using Myspace.

David Cohen EVP, U.S. Director of Digital Communications concluded that "there is no doubt that we are moving rapidly from a world of passive receptivity to active engagement. No longer can we simply broadcast our messages to a mass audience and hope that our standard metrics of reach and frequency will guarantee success. Accountable engagement innovation is the battlefield of the 21st century..."

The younger set has adopted many of these emerging technologies at a faster rate with three out of four of the 16-34 heavy Internet users currently using instant messenger. Additionally, there are twice as many 16-34s visiting social networking sites than those 35-49. Other findings include:

  • 71% of the 16-34 year olds have participated in a blogging activity.
  • The 16-34's are three times more likely (25%) than those 35-49 to manage and/or write their own blog.
  • While personal and family/friend are the most common types of blogs among the younger group, more than 40% are developing photo and pop culture (music/film) blogs as well.
  • One third of 16-34's have participated in peer-to-peer file sharing compared to just 12% of those 35-49.
  • Thus far, just 10% of 16-34 year old heavy Internet users say they have used IPTV and only 14% have used voice over Internet protocol.
  • When asked which information source they would miss the most, television came out on top, with 27% of 16-34's and 29% of 35-49's saying they would miss this medium.
  • There are still low levels of usage and intention to use RSS feeds, with nearly half of our sample unaware of what they are.

Click here to see the full study.

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