The latest research surveying who listens to country radio stations — and how often — pinpoints some tough challenges ahead for an industry that has long counted on tradition and music lovers’ loyalty to the genre to earn a living.
One in five country music fans never tune in to country radio stations, according to a research study released Wednesday afternoon at Country Radio Seminar, a four-day national gathering of music makers, players and radio industry executives in downtown Nashville.
Instead, self-described country music fans get their music from websites, their own collections stored on iPods or listening to other types of radio stations, the annual report on industry trends found.
There are about 1,700 country radio stations in the United States. Each year DJs, station managers and corporate radio executives convene in Nashville, along with country music artists and Music Row representatives. The annual gathering includes a state of country radio report released on the first full day of the convention.
Country radio already does a good job keeping its hard-core fans but has to do better reaching those casual country music fans who are more likely to be women, relatively new fans of country music and have a favorite radio station that doesn’t consistently play country, according to the study conducted by Edison Research.
“We run the risk that we just are more and more pleasing to fewer and fewer people until all we are is ecstatically pleasing a tiny, unsustainable number of people,” said Larry Rosin, Edison Research’s president.
The study also identified a “twang” divide between hard-core country fans and others who like country but aren’t dedicated country radio listeners.
For example, nearly twice as many devoted country fans as casual country fans (77 percent versus 46 percent) liked Rodney Atkins, Josh Turner and Billy Currington – artists with a noticeable country twang to their singing. But artists such as Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood don’t divide fans, earning equally high marks from both devoted and casual listeners.
Special Comment by Marty Martel for WHISNews21
Another great article by Anita Wadhwani [email@example.com] of The Tennessean. The fact of the matter is that Country Radio is controlled by corporate company’s and no matter what we say or do to change their way of thinking, they control radio of today, and there is no place for artists who are not in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, in fact they could care less about the past. All they care about is what they want to hear, selling of advertisement, and you and I are not going to do anything about this problem, unless we continue to shove it down their throats that some of the music they are playing is junk. They admit they are not addressing a large contingent of a demographics that is still alive and well and want to hear traditional country classic music, AND THEY WILL LISTEN TO A RADIO STATION THAT WILL PLAY THAT MUSIC.