by: Bob Kernen
The H&R Block man’s rallying cry is “Get your billions back, America!” Well, to borrow the tone, if not the content of his ubiquitous-this-time-of-year yawp, c’mon “Get your listening occasions back, radio.”
At one time, everyone had transistor radios, boom boxes, Walkmans, even stereos. Now most people under the age of 20 don’t remember any of those things. But those were the devices that made radio king. Wherever you went, a radio was near at hand, but not anymore. The car is the last piece of prime real estate that still has a radio, and even that territory is threatened.
But you can fight back.
Luckily, that demon iPod has been assimilated by the smartphone, and on that particular battlefield your station app has equal footing with any other audio content. Finally, a fair fight. To get your audience back on those oh-so-important listening occasions, you’re going to have to remind them that they’re there.
• That means driving your listeners to boot up your app when they’re at the gym.
• Reminding them that they can listen to you at home by dropping their smartphone into their Bose or Sonos dock.
• Opening your stream when they go for a run.
• Plugging the earbuds into their phone and opening your app at the office.
All places where radio traditionally provided audio accompaniment. And thanks to that ever-present, ever-more-central device, the smartphone, you can have them again. But you have to tell ‘em and tell ‘em again. New habits can be just as hard to break as old ones, especially when the new habits are so convenient. But you don’t have to concede anything.
For years we’ve heard from clients that streaming listening, particularly mobile streaming, weren’t optimal places for listeners. “What if a meter-holder starts listening the app with their earbuds in?” That last excuse to drive your user to mobile is going away courtesy of Nielsen who will begin measuring mobile listening via a special bit of software in your app later this year.
No more excuses. Leverage that smartphone to put your product in your audience’s ears wherever they go. You just have to give them the right reminders to “get your listening occasions back.”