If your station is struggling to reach the millennial generation, or Generation Now, it could be that you’re programming to values held by past generations. It used to be that we could excite an audience base with big cash prizes. Appealing to greed has worked for decades, but times have changed. Audiences today love unique experiences. In fact they love them more than money.
While stations are busy handing out cash and competing against other stations to impress listeners that they have more cash and bigger prizes, many of today’s listeners are yawning.
One of the most interesting findings in my detailed study of how millennials view radio is that this generation can’t be “bought” the way radio stations try to buy listeners. And it’s interesting because most of the 150 respondents shared that they don’t have a lot of money. In fact, they are scraping by month to month. They work multiple jobs, and either live at home with parents to save money or have multiple roommates.
It’s logical to think we can reach them with cash. But that doesn’t get their attention. Even giving away tickets to concerts and festivals doesn’t attract audiences like it once did. And that applies to station concerts with multiple artists sharing a stage.
One of them actually told me,
We can go see Green Day anytime. Give me something to do and talk about with my friends.
In that focus group, we talked about alternatives that would be more fun. They love the idea of a festival with a theme, like a wave pool, virtual reality or a beer and taco festival. Music adds to the event, but is not the focal point.
So maybe we should re-think paying big bucks for a huge act and trying to sell tickets to another concert. Would it be better to spend that money on something to DO with a lesser band? Maybe.
Unique experiences are important to this audience. And so are relationships. That’s kind of refreshing, isn’t it?