Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.® Releases Key Findings From “Understanding Parents, Teens, and Country Music” Research Presentation

(NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Feb. 25, 2019) Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.® has released the full results of the research presentation, “Understanding Parents, Teens, and Country Music,” held during Country Radio Seminar’s 50th Anniversary Event.  Edison Research, who was commissioned by Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) to conduct the study, examined the present and the future of Country Radio, Country Music, and how music and technology are passed along between parents and teens. For the full results of the study, visit here.

The analysis was based upon a national survey among 1,909 parents of teens and 459 teens as well as video ethnographies centered on how the two groups interact with music, the radio, and each other. According to Edison’s Infinite Dial survey, results show that one-third of all 25-54-year-olds have one or more teenagers in their household and half of 35-44-year-olds have a teenager in their homes. 

Some key findings of the study are:

    • Radio is by far the most listened to form of audio among parents of teens aged 25-54.

    • Streaming audio is in second place, but the research suggests that teenagers may be changing their parents listening habits.

    • 94% of families listen to music together at home.

    • 68% of parents of teens say that their teenagers assist them with new technology.  

    • Over half of parents of teens say that they learned about at least one music streaming service from their teenager.

    • Almost three-fourths of parents of teens and 57% of teens who are Country music listeners say that Country is a genre the family can agree on.

    • 60% of teens said they share music with friends and family via text, and 47% through social media, while parents of teens hover around 40% for both those categories.

    • 62% of teens said they use radio for new music discovery, and 78% of parents of teens said the same.

    • 75% of parents of teens said they use the radio for news, traffic, weather, and things going on in the community, compared to 41% of teenagers. 

    • 34% of teens agreed with the statement “FM radio is for people your age.”  

Following the presentation, Edison Research’s President Larry Rosin made recommendations to Country Radio, which includes:

  • Don’t be complacent

    • Don’t count on today’s teens aging into radio listening as has been the case in years past.

    • Realize that teens today have grown up with smartphones and listening to music through FM radio is, in many cases, not their first choice. 

    • Country Radio needs to learn to fight for teenagers today so that they might listen tomorrow.

  • Ramp up outreach

    • Market to high school students creatively. 

    • Create a teenager listener advisory board as your “consultants” to this generation. Implement their ideas using their “voice” to message it. 

    • Teens are bombarded with online ads and television ads for streaming services and other ways to hear music. How will they hear about your station and know how to find you?

  • Create parent-teen experiences

    • Find the places that teens are with their parents, talk to your 25-54 target, and at the same time extend a hand to the future.

    • Become part of the in-car time with parents and teens. The one place that parents and their teens truly seem to connect with each other and with your station at the same time is in the car. 

  • Consider your positioning 

    • Teach and remind teens of how to use the radio. Don’t assume they know where and how they can find you on every device. 

    • Think about what teenagers are NOT saying about Radio or Country radio stations.

    • Teens seem entirely unaware of any of the value radio brings to their markets beyond playing Country songs and playing commercials. How is your station positioned in the market? Even with their parents influencing them and driving them around, teens aren’t sufficiently ‘getting’ what radio is and why it’s good.

    • Consider not only positioning around music (e.g., “Today’s Hot Country”) and instead positioning around what is unique about what radio offers (local, community, concerts, etc.) as compared to streaming platforms.

    • Claim your position as the creator of the playlists and think about ways you provide music. Today’s teens talk about playlists. 

    • Teach your listeners how to find you on a smart speaker. Move that in-car listening into the home and into a shared listening experience by telling your listeners how to ask their smart speaker for your content.

Full results of the 2019 study can be found on

Darcie Van Etten