Lean Audience Research: air, measure, learn

A few weeks ago one of the most relevant gatherings of radio professionals, Radiodays Europe, was held in Dublin, Ireland. For two and a half days more than hundred speakers shared their thoughts on the current state of our industry. Above all, experts and attendees talked about change.

Greatest ever period of change for radio

Helen Boaden – Head of BBC Radio – said that “Radio is facing seismic shifts in deep-seated listening behaviour”.

Hours of radio listening per week drop while time spent in mobile devices keeps growing. A new profile of consumer is rising, expecting all kinds of media “on their own terms” including on-demand radio. Global giants like Google or Apple (in addition to Spotify, Pandora or TuneIn) are entering a traditionally fragmented nation based industry, making competition more intense than ever before.

Jacqueline Smit – CEO of 538 – expressed similar thoughts. Media industry is changing fast and technology is directly involved in this change which, in Jacqueline’s opinion, is a constant.

For Helen Boaden, although this shifting scenario affected young audience first, it is spreading to all age groups. These challenges for radio are not restricted to a specific demographic anymore. Jacqueline Smit, former head of Consumer and Online at Microsoft, was more explicit:

“I don’t believe in demographics, I believe in behaviours”

Both Helen Boaden and Jacqueline Smit are convinced that, for radio to overcome constant change, the mindset of the industry requires a profound transformation. In Helen’s words: fail fast and efficiently, learn as quickly as possible, stand up and keep going. Or how Jacqueline Smit stated in her presentation: do, learn, optimize. This process reflects the basic steps of Lean Startup: build, measure, learn.

As a startup, Voizzup breathes Lean. We were really excited when we heard the directors of two relevant radio organisations align so clearly with our lean principles.

We proudly say, Voizzup is Lean Audience Research:

  • Our design methodology helps stations formulate the right questions by removing preconceptions in order to prevent looking in the wrong direction.
  • We turn the rotative nature of radio (songs, segments, benchmarks, topics) into measured experiments and learning cycles.
  • Our technology enables observation of listener behaviours, collecting huge amounts of data from every single listener’s interaction with the player of the station.

It was the lack of data what surprised Jacqueline the most when she moved from Microsoft to radio. Qualitative data rather than quantitative, she explained. Radio builds personal relationships with listeners. It’s about emotion and passion.

Therefore knowing when listening sessions start and end is not enough for Voizzup. We get excited every time data shows how listeners react with passion when their football team scores. We find fascinating seeing reflected in data how listeners’ attention intensifies when the host makes them laugh. We believe these examples illustrate data turning into insights.

The ideas expressed by the Head of BBC Radio and the CEO of 538 support that a new research for radio is both necessary and possible.

And you? Would you share your thoughts with us?
Contact us if you would like to learn more about Voizzup’s Lean Audience Research.

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