It seems some radio folks are surprised, dismayed or even angry about our ListenerThink survey that finds 50% of music radio listeners want a morning show that “focuses on music, with little or no personalities, contests, listener voices or talk about things that are happening.”¬†

Some think it says that stations in general should just “shut up and play the music” in mornings. That’s not the case at all

For one thing, an essentially equal number (48%) say they want a program that “features personalities, contests, listener voices and talk about things that are happening, in addition to music.” Among 18-34’s, that rises to 53%. And in our press release on the survey, I flat-out state that “If you have a successful morning program, this research certainly does NOT suggest you change it!”

The point is: There are different kinds of listeners, with different preferences. ¬†Many want a focus on music in mornings. As an industry, we shouldn’t ignore that! We shouldn’t in effect say “Sorry, we won’t give you that. Why don’t you just sign up for satellite radio or Pandora?”

And yet, if you scan across the morning in many markets, there are times when it seems that everyone is talking.

Not every station has the resources or market opportunity to deliver a high-profile morning show. There is room for an alternative approach. So if you don’t have a successful morning program, it’s something to consider.

Now, you might be surprised that the percentage of listeners who want a “focus on music” is as high as it is. Honestly, I was too! Y’know why? Because I’m not normal, at least when it comes to attitudes about radio. And if you are in the radio industry, the odds are good you’re not either.

When I was a teen in Chicago, all my friends listened to WLS and WCFL, but they didn’t dream about being just like Larry Lujack. I did. They didn’t sneak a transistor radio into bed to “DX” that cool KAAY from Little Rock. I did. At 16, they didn’t know that they would end up on radio, even though they didn’t know how the hell they’d get there, and against the wishes and expectations of their families…

I did. And to this day, I turn up the radio at the end of songs, to hear the stuff in between them. You too?

We’re NOT regular guys. We’re NOT typical! That’s why we’re in this business in the first place!

And that’s why research is so valuable. Because it takes us away from our personal selves and puts us into the minds of listeners.

As a radio geek, I just don’t get the appeal of Pandora, or listening to an iPod. I’m in the half that wants a station that “features personalities, contests, listener voices and talk about things that are happening, in addition to music.”

But 50% don’t. Is that so hard to believe??? Should we ignore them?