What Radio Needs to Know About Millennials

As someone deeply involved in the radio industry, I can tell you that everyone associated with old-school FM music radio is very, very interested/concerned/alarmed at how Millennials–those born after 1980–are using radio. Or, more specifically, NOT using radio.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  Millennials do listen to a lot of radio. A lot.  Study after study proves it (trust me!) although the amount of time people are spending with radio is slowly declining.

With so many other entertainment choices available–and with so many of them available on-demand–old school radio is deeply committed to evolving to meet the needs of the next generations of listeners. Much of my current role at Corus Radio is all about trying to figure out where radio needs to go. That’s why articles like this from consultant Mark Ramsey interest me.

If you were born in the 80′s or 90′s, you’re in your late teens to early 30′s today. You are also a digital native and quite unlike older folks, including the older folks running the radio business.

That explains why these older folks don’t know a lot about you – only what Nielsen tells them – only what radio their PPM devices are exposed to – and not much else.

But oh, there’s much more to know. And it’s terribly important for the future of an industry that must maintain its relevance as generations come and go.

That’s why I talked with psychologist, professor, and author Jean Twenge about the new edition of her book Generation Me – Revised and Updated: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before.

In this Q&A, Jean discusses the trends that are shaping the media usage of millennials, including the drive to digital first and the preference for personalization and interactivity.

While these are not new topics, they are ones that most radio brands have still largely failed to grapple with.

Continue reading.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38403 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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