Oldies, Consumers and Retail

By on Mar, 22 2012 with Comments 0

MIB Reports OldiesIntroducing the Oldies study
This audience is a little difficult to pin down, due to the way BIGinsight conducts its survey. Whenradio pros think of Oldies, they usually have a fairly specific era in mind — music from the 50s and early 60s. But a consumer may think of oldies as anything that is not current — it could range from 90s music all the way back to Bach and Handel. But we suspect that the majority of survey respondents who checked off Oldies in this case were thinking of either Oldies as PDs think of it, or Classic Rock.

But don’t take our word for it — you’ll be able to see for yourself what this audience looks like when using this report. In the first section, you’lll find out the male/female breakdown and the age profile of those who checked off Oldies on the BIGinsight survey, along with their occupation, income and ethnic tendencies. the second section takes you through their media use habits, including which dayparts find them tuned into the radio and what they like to watch on TV. The final section breaks down retail habits, including information on what they buy and where. So go ahead and scroll down.

Part One: The Oldies Audience

Oldies fans tend to be older than the population in general – and that is no surprise at all. Women are more likely than men to check off the format when taking the survey. It pulls well in the 45-54 age cell and owns 55 and older.

Employment/household income
The household income is almost on par with the population, and that is actually a major surprise – and a plus – when you consider that a much higher proportion of the audience is retired than for other formats. There are a lot of professional/managerial types here despite losing many constituents to retirement, and the group is almost on par with the entire survey when it comes to business ownership.

As far as ethnic breakdowns go, all formats have older songs attached to them – it skews slightly Caucasian, but generally conforms to the proportions of the population as a

Part Two: Oldies audience media use

Radio ad influence/radio ad online search
The Oldies audience tends to respond to advertising – there is only one retail category – electronics – where this group scores a lower response rate than the average American. Grocery, restaurant and telecom clients do particularly well with this group, and (check it out) the key cash-heavy automotive category is not far behind. 13.4% of Oldies fans pay close attention to car and truck ads – and that adds up to a serious number of meaningful impressions.

Oldies fans will often initiate an online search based on a radio ad – over a quarter will take that step. When you stop to consider that radio is primarily an in-vehicle medium, that’s pretty impressive. It’s one thing to sit in your house, see something on TV or in a magazine, and walk over to your computer to search for something. It’s something else when driving — you have to remember a website, or stop and look something up on a smartphone. A memorable web address is something radio advertisers will want in their marketing arsenal.

Tune-in dayparts
BIGinsight also is able to confirm that among all media, radio is still king and Oldies is popular during morning drive, when it is used by almost half of all respondents. Radio hangs tough throughout the day and during PM drive, only dropping off when prime time TV starts to take over.

Format listening
When not listening to Oldies, Oldies fans gravitate in large numbers to Country, News and Rock stations. In general, they gravitate in high numbers to each and every one of BIGresearch’s music genres. Even Alternative skews a little high. This could be a huge selling point when you have a cluster of stations in a market, one or more of which uses vintage material – even if this group isn’t listening to your most Oldies-oriented station, there’s a good chance they’re tuned into one of your other signals.

Oldies fans can similarly be tracked by what they like on TV when they aren’t tuned in to their favorite radio station. You can see genres they watch frequently and at least occasionally below.


Part Three: Oldies and Retail

We discussed the hidden spending power of Oldies fans in Part 1 – how they manage to pull just about average household income numbers despite having a very high percentage of retired people in the ranks. Another thing to consider is that this group likely has whittled down monthly expenses – houses are paid off, no kids consuming two tons of food weekly, stuff like that.

Buying women’s/men’s/children’s clothing
Clothing categories: Oldies fans shop for women’s and men’s clothing in all types of stores, and are big in department and discount stores. Not surprisingly they don’t buy a lot for children — but even there, they are above the 18+ par score. That goes for toys, too.

Data flashpoint: Apparently by the time you are old enough to become a bona fide Oldies fan, you pretty much have a well-stocked closet. Buying apparel is not a priority with this particular audience.

Buying children’s toys
This group thinks discount store when it thinks toys — but mostly its an afterthought. Most likely, purchases are for grandchildren rather than their own children.

Buying shoes
Oldies fans are heading for a shoe store first when they’re in the market for them, and after that they much prefer department stores to discount stores.

Buying electronics
Note the amazing prevalence of oldies fans hitting specialty stores for the electronics needs. Their taste for gadgets exceeds that of the population as a whole.

Data flashpoint: Traditional electronics are the dominant choices for the Oldies crowd. They watch TV and listen to music more than most. However, they are clearly adapting to the new technologies — but you won’t catch that many playing video games.

Buying sporting goods
As we learned in part one of this report, Oldies fans have just about as much money as everybody else. By now you should be noticing that fans of this format tend to spend it. This group even snaps up sporting goods, mostly at sporting goods stores.

Data flashpoint: This is not a big sports crowd, at least not as participants. The group is a little above par when it comes to the great outdoors camping-fishing-hunting category, and are slightly more apt to play golf than the average citizen.

Buying linens/bedding/draperies
Here is yet another category where oldies fans spread their cash around a variety of retail types.

Buying home improvement
There is no doubt about where Oldies fans will be headed when in the market for hardware and other home improvement items. They will rarely mess around with discount outlets, far prefering the real deal.

Data flashpoint: Gardening and home improvement are big pastimes with about 30% of the Oldies audience, well above the national average.

Buying groceries
Most of us shop for groceries at a grocery store — it’s just that this group does it more.

Data flashpoint: The profile of the Oldies audience and the profile of the entire population of the BIGinsight survey are very much in alignment when it comes to buying groceries interms of frequency. If you have the buying habits of the general population nailed down, you’d be pretty close to understanding the Oldies group as well.

Buying health and beauty aids
The real competition to win this audience is between drugstores and discount stores for this demo.

Data flashpoint: Oldies fans are not the strongest buyers in the HBA category. If you’re trying to get this group into your store, you’ll need to find a different hook.


Buying prescriptions
Oldies fans figure to be regular consumers of drugs, and drugstores are by far their venue of choice.

Data flashpoint: This audience is experiencing health problems from the top of the chart down to the bottom – drugstores should make a habit of maintaining an air presence on their local Oldies station.

Buying furniture
When it comes to furniture and appliances, the oldies crowd seems to be a bit closer to 18+ purchasing levels — perhaps because they’ve had time to stock up on such items. But they still buy both, and more.

Buying appliances
Department stores are the first shopping venue that comes to mind for Oldies fans, but they’ll use specialty stores and are also more likely than the average citizen to return to their favorite home improvement store.

Major planned purchases
When it comes to major expenditures, the Oldies demo is keeping items on the table to a greater extent than the population as a whole. In every single category below, they index above average – and that even goes for RVs and boats. Even though only 1.9% of Oldies fans have purchasing plans, that beats the 1.4% of the 18+ population with RV or boat buying plans. And a very strong category goes along with recreational transportation — vacation spending.

Car/truck planned purchases
When it comes to buying a car or truck, Oldies fans are slightly below par with the rest of America.

Data flashpoint: There is very little about the automobile brand preference of Oldies fans to comment on. As in grocery-buying habits, their tastes seem to run very close to the 18+ taste. Perhaps the biggest oddity is that they are fonder of Toyota than average, and less fond of Honda. Their appreciation of Ford and GM are completely in line with the mainstream.

About The Author: RBR+TVBR has been reporting on the business of broadcasting for nearly three decades. Beholden to no one, it is independently owned.

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