A survey conducted during the past two weeks by NuVoodoo found a majority of Americans have positive feelings towards media outlets that take a stand on the hot button issue of racial equality. NuVoodoo found six in ten Americans support media outlets that run commercials supporting Black Lives Matter or at the very least issue a public statement that supports the movement. There was also the same level of support for companies and media organizations that made financial contributions to racial justice organizations.
How does that look on radio? In Chicago, iHeartMedia CHR “103.5 Kiss FM” WKSC has added a webpage to the station website called Brilliantly Black. The page features all black-owned businesses, artists and organizations in the community while its parent company gave $75,000 to both the National Urban League and the NAACP as part of its #BlackoutTuesday programming earlier this month. Several other radio groups have taken similar approaches in their markets.
The NuVoodoo study also suggests it is better for a station to be for something – rather than against. Even as a majority of those surveyed said they felt good about media outlets that spoke out against white supremacy, it was by a smaller margin. There is also a deep-seated respect of free speech as evidenced by an even smaller number saying they feel good when a media outlet takes down or changes offensive content that it has previously aired.
The survey data is based on a sample of 5,231 people aged 16 to 34 conducted from June 19-26.
The NoVoodoo survey results were made public by Westwood One, which in a blog post also shared Nielsen data that reveals a link between radio and the socially conscious. It shows 87% of those who have contributed to social services during the last 12 months listen to AM/FM radio weekly. While public radio does well consistently across the board, the data also shows News-Talk and Religious stations were big draws among those who said they were involved in social causes and organizations. The Adult Contemporary, Classic Hits and Rock formats also did well – each indexing higher than Country across several charitable metrics.
The results have a lot to do with age, as younger-skewing formats like CHR, Urban and Spanish didn’t have the same level of socially active listeners. Nevertheless, some issues break through. Westwood One Chief Insights Office Pierre Bouvard pointed out Spanish radio listeners care about the environment, being 26% more likely to use eco-friendly “green products” and 17% more likely than the general population to have their purchase decisions impacted by the eco-friendly record of companies CHR listeners ranked high on environmental issues.
The data shows male-skewing audiences can just be engaged as their female counterparts. Bouvard noted Sports radio listeners are 35% more likely than the general population to have voted in a federal, state, or local election in the last year.