Radio Stations Should Go Mobile Because Their Older Listeners Already Are

We typically assume the “older generation” finds it difficult to navigate through our constantly-evolving world of technology and gadgets.  But while Baby Boomers and Seniors may have been slower to adopt mobile devices into their daily routines, their usage increases dramatically once they are familiar with how the devices (and their apps) work.  In fact, they have surpassed younger generations, including Gen-X, in gaming and camera usage, and smartphone ownership for Boomer and Seniors is expected to increase by 45-50% by the end of 2015.

More Smartphones, More Users

Naturally, more smartphone ownership equals more app usage. As users continue to adopt the latest gadgets, they will also begin familiarizing themselves with more than just camera and gaming apps; streaming music will account for a large part of their usage. In fact, according to a recent study, listening to music was the top leisure activity amongst Baby Boomers, with 64% saying this activity was what they did the most. So logically, this older generation is trending towards eventually surpassing the younger generations when it comes to streaming music from a mobile app.  Further driving the point home is the fact that mobile app usage dwarfs mobile web browsing by a lot, even with the older generation.

Engaging Your Most Valuable Users

It is important for stations to not only take advantage of ever-growing mobile app usage, but also target older generations when developing apps, especially because listening is the beginning of giving–giving donations to your station, that is. Put simply, older generations are more likely to donate money than the millennial generation. So by targeting the needs and wants of baby boomers and seniors on their smartphones, your station’s revenue is more likely to increase. In that sense, forgetting about the “older generation” when designing your app would be like forgetting to cash a big check.

Desktop vs Mobile Streaming

Yes listeners can stream radio live from the internet, but this is not what they prefer to do. Think about it: How often are you at a desktop or laptop without access to a smartphone?  That’s the only time you’re likely to use desktop streaming, as a smartphone allows for physical movement, more instantaneous control of volume, stations, etc., and simply offers a better user experience.  Yes the older generation of listeners learns the newest technology slower, and yet they are increasingly becoming the most loyal and engaged listening audience, so why would stations not want to make things simpler for them?  A mobile radio app is the easiest way to stream music, and we all favor services that make it easier to do things we already do.

Still not convinced your station needs a mobile radio app overhaul with renewed focus on listener engagement?  Then please comment with your thoughts, we always like hearing from our readers!

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