USC Study: Listeners Connect With Air Personalities
A study by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism that examines the relationship between broadcast radio listeners and air personalities confirms that listeners feel they have a genuine relationship with their favorite radio personalities. 75% of those surveyed reported that they turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air.
72% talk to their friends about their favorite personality or what they heard on the program. Notably, listener engagement extended into the online realm, with nearly 70% reporting that they follow their favorite radio personalities and/or radio stations via social media channels. Nearly half (47%) considered or purchased products recommended by their favorite radio personalities. 51% considered or purchased a product advertised during their favorite personalitys show.
82% expressed feelings and exhibited behaviors consistent with the phenomenon known as "parasocial identification." Parasocial identification (PSI) was first introduced in academic settings in 1956 to describe one-sided "para-social" interpersonal relationships in which one party feels as though they know a great deal about the other. (The phenomenon was originally used to describe the relationship television viewers developed with characters on soap operas.)
"Our findings underscore the depth of the relationship, loyalty, and trust between listeners and radio personalities," said USC-Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism professor Paula Patnoe Woodley. "This connection can be a significant benefit for radio station advertisers as demonstrated by the significant number of study respondents who have considered or purchased services or products advertised during radio shows or recommended by favorite on-air personalities."
Said Lauren Movius, PhD, co-author of the study with Woodley, "With more than half of the respondents saying their favorite radio personality influences their opinion, it is clear that parasocial interaction, or listeners' feelings that they have real relationships with radio on-air personalities, definitely exists."
The survey was underwritten by the rep firm Katz Media Group. (06-28-12)
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RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 2:31pm CT
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