How do P1s perceive their stations?  Of course, they think about their music, news, talk, sports, personalities, etc. But what about the station’s own personality – its “stationality”?  What attributes describe it?

As part of our online P1 research last month, we  ran 40 different words or phrases past 18-64  listeners (732 of them) who named a specific station as the one they “listen to most.” And we asked them whether that word or phrase “describes” or “does not describe” that station.

And what we learned is: the vast majority of listeners attribute a slew of human attributes to the station they listen to most. At the top, 80%+  think the words comfortable, friendly and informed describe their P1 station:

This word or phrase describes the station  I listen to most…
Comfortable 83%
Friendly 82%
Informed 80%
Cheerful 79%
Positive 78%
Confident 78%
Outgoing 77%
Involved 77%
Down-to-earth 75%
Easygoing 74%
Honest 73%
Fun-loving 73%
Enthusiastic 73%
Trustworthy 73%
Cool 72%
Intelligent 70%
Funny 68%
Exciting 67%
Mature 64%
Respectful 64%
Warm 63%
Relaxing 62%
Witty 61%
Caring 60%
Helpful 58%
Outspoken 56%
Trendy 54%
Hip 52%
Family-oriented 50%
Quirky 41%
Serious 40%
Sophisticated 38%
Wacky 37%
Edgy 35%
Authoritative 30%
Unpredictable 30%
Sarcastic 28%
Rebellious 25%
Aggressive 22%
Controversial 20%

That’s among listeners as a whole.  We were also interested in the differences between P1s of major formats.  So we categorized each station’s format based on its ID and market…

We learned that different formats’ P1s see their stations  as more alike than different.  For example, at the top, the vast majority of every format’s P1s see their station as comfortable, friendly, etc.,  to a greater or lesser degree. And (to a greater or lesser degree) a minority of every format’s P1s do not think the station they listen to most as controversial, aggressive, etc.

Still, there are interesting “greater or lesser degrees.” Here’s what scored “notably” (10 or more points) higher or lower than average for each format we analyzed, along with my take:

A/C  
Notably higher than average: None
Notably lower than average: aggressive, edgy, enthusiastic, exciting, sarcastic
Comment: As always, defined more by what it’s not than what it is.

 

CHR  
Notably higher than average: cool, edgy, hip, outspoken, quirky, rebellious, sarcastic, trendy, unpredictable, wacky
Notably lower than average: authoritative, caring, family-oriented, helpful, honest, intelligent, mature, respectful, serious
Comment: Fun, fashionable and a little flaky.

 

CHRISTIAN  
Notably higher than average: caring, cheerful, comfortable, confident, cool, down-to-earth, easygoing, enthusiastic, family-oriented, friendly, fun-loving, helpful, honest, informed, involved, mature, positive, relaxing, respectful, serious, sophisticated, trustworthy, warm
Notably lower than average: aggressive, controversial, edgy, quirky, rebellious, sarcastic, unpredictable, wacky
Comment: These P1s truly love their station! Scores highest for eight of the top 20 attributes.

 

COUNTRY  
Notably higher than average: caring, cheerful, comfortable, down-to-earth, easygoing, exciting, family-oriented, friendly, fun-loving, helpful, honest, positive, relaxing, respectful, trustworthy, warm
Notably lower than average: aggressive, controversial, edgy, outspoken, rebellious, sarcastic
Comment: A lot like Christian.

 

NEWS/TALK  
Notably higher than average: aggressive, authoritative, controversial, intelligent, mature, serious, sophisticated
Notably lower than average: cheerful, comfortable, cool, easygoing, fun-loving, funny, hip,  quirky, relaxing, trendy, wacky, warm
Comment: The “reality show” of radio.

 

OLDIES/CLASSIC HITS  
Notably higher than average: caring, cheerful, enthusiastic, fun-loving, funny, helpful, honest, relaxing, warm, witty
Notably lower than average: aggressive, authoritative, controversial, edgy, hip, outspoken, rebellious, sarcastic, serious
Comment: Looks like that “Good Times, Great Oldies” line was right on target.

 

PUBLIC RADIO/NPR  
Notably higher than average: authoritative, caring, family-oriented, helpful, honest, informed, intelligent, involved, mature, relaxing, respectful, serious, sophisticated
Notably lower than average: cheerful, cool, enthusiastic, exciting, fun-loving, funny, hip, outspoken, rebellious, trendy, unpredictable, wacky
Comment: Verypositive image among P1s…like News/Talk, but with more “heart.”

 

ROCK  
Notably higher than average: aggressive, cool, edgy, rebellious, sarcastic, unpredictable
Notably lower than average: caring, cheerful, family-oriented, helpful, relaxing, respectful, serious, sophisticated, trendy, warm
Comment: Edgy but not especially trendy…i.e., not about what’s happening now.

 

SPORTS  
Notably higher than average: authoritative, informed, intelligent, outspoken, quirky, witty
Notably lower than average: caring, down-to-earth, easygoing, sophisticated
Comment: Smarter and more credible than what I would have expected. Outspoken, quirky…Jim Rome?

 

URBAN  
Notably higher than average: aggressive, cool, edgy, exciting, funny, hip, outgoing, outspoken,  sarcastic, trendy, witty
Notably lower than average: None
Comment: Very positive and “with it” image. Scores highest for cool, outspoken, trendy and hip.

 

Finally, here are the formats scoring highest and lowest for each word or phrase:

HIGHEST: LOWEST:
Comfortable Christian (100%) News/Talk (66%)
Friendly Christian (97%) News/Talk (74%)
Informed Sports (94%) Urban (73%)
Cheerful Country, Christian (97%) News/Talk (51%)
Positive Christian (92%) News/Talk, Public/NPR (70%)
Confident Christian (92%) A/C (72%)
Outgoing Urban (88%) News/Talk (70%)
Involved Public/NPR (89%) Rock (70%)
Down-To-Earth Christian (94%) Sports (57%)
Easygoing Country (93%) Sports (62%)
Honest Public/NPR (89%) CHR (60%)
Fun-Loving Christian (90%) News/Talk (51%)
Enthusiastic Oldies/Classic Hits (86%) A/C (59%)
Trustworthy Christian (87%) CHR (66%)
Cool Urban (89%) News/Talk (40%)
Intelligent Public/NPR (92%) CHR (58%)
Funny Oldies/Classic Hits (86%) News/Talk (39%)
Exciting Urban (81%) Public/NPR (35%)
Mature Public/NPR (84%) CHR (50%)
Respectful Public/NPR, Christian (89%) Rock (43%)
Warm Christian (92%) Rock (46%)
Relaxing Christian (84%) Rock (46%)
Witty Oldies/Classic Hits (75%) A/C (57%)
Caring Christian (86%) Sports (45%)
Helpful Christian (89%) Rock (45%)
Outspoken Urban (74%) Public/NPR (41%)
Trendy Urban (84%) Public/NPR (27%)
Hip Urban (94%) Public/NPR (30%)
Family-oriented Christian (97%) Rock (23%)
Quirky CHR (57%) Christian (17%)
Serious Public/NPR (70%) Rock (26%)
Sophisticated Public/NPR (66%) Rock (23%)
Wacky CHR (52%) Public/NPR (2%)
Edgy Rock (50%) Country (11%)
Authoritative News/Talk (65%) CHR (19%)
Unpredictable Rock (43%) Christian (11%)
Sarcastic CHR (46%) Christian (5%)
Rebellious Rock  (46%) Oldies/Classic Hits (7%)
Aggressive News/Talk  (38%) A/C (7%)
Controversial News/Talk (44%) Christian (6%)