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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Lost Consumers - Ages 45-65 Are Ignored by Marketers

I live in the New York Metropolitan area so most of the radios stations I listen to in my car are based in New York. (For the record, I still listen to radio because it is free!) I am in my 30s and yes I like to listen to Top 40 like most people my age, but sometimes I just want to listen to easy listening music and jazz.

The other day I pushed button #4 on the radio console of my car which is the favorite button I programmed for "Smooth Jazz" CD 101.9. I pushed the button and outcomes an electric guitar heavy rock song blaring out of my speakers. I thought - this can't be right, so I pushed it again. Same song. WHAT ? I looked at the tuner and it said 101.9. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! CD 101.9 changed formats? When did this happen? No more Kenny G or Michael McDonald? This can't be.

CD 101.9 as we know it has gone the way of the dinosaur folks. Do you know why? Because the people who pay the bills over at the radio station can't make top dollar on ads because the companies paying top dollar don't want to market to people over the age of 45. (Metamucil anyone?)

Here is the sad message left about the change in format on the OLD CD 101.9 website:

Dear CD101.9 Smooth Jazz Listeners,

The staff of CD101.9 would like to thank you for your support over these past 20 years of Smooth Jazz CD101.9. Due to a declining audience for Smooth Jazz over the past few years, we are sad to announce that Smooth Jazz will no longer be available on the 101.9 signal. On February 5th we launched an innovative new adult rock format on the 101.9 frequency called 101.9 RXP The New York Rock Experience. 101.9 RXP is a respectful and intelligent mix of new music, classic rock and alternative - we invite you to try it. If you are solely a Smooth Jazz lover, "Smooth Jazz CD101.9" will continue to exist on our HD2 channel. Just purchase an HD capable radio and you will be able to listen to your favorite Smooth Jazz artists for free as always! will continue to provide you with upcoming smooth jazz events in association with the HD2 channel, and if you are a member of the CD101.9 Loyal Listener Club you will continue to receive e-mail updates.

If you do not have an HD radio and are not a fan of Rock, we invite you to try 98.7 Kiss FM The Best Variety of Old School and Today's R&B as an alternative. Listen to 98.7 Kiss FM for your chance to pick up tickets to the "Concert In Red" Valentine's concert at the Beacon Theatre February 14th. It's one of the many amazing shows coming in 2008 that you can find out about on 98.7 Kiss FM.

We hope that this note finds you sharing the same excitement that we feel! We look forward to many more years of providing New York with Smooth Jazz in HD, and The New York Rock Experience on 101.9 RXP!

Please if you would like to leave a comment, email us at

Less people are listening to Jazz? There are more people age 55 and older than ever. There is a market for easy listening. Unfortunately, advertisers don't care to market to the folks that listen to this type of music. The worst part about this whole debacle is that they are asking people "of a certain age" to go out and buy a
HD2 channel capable radio without explaining what it is or why they need it. Now that's a way to confuse a non-tech savvy demographic.

I am a media professional and I read that traditional analog stations were going to start broadcasting on frequenicies that have never been used. It has been some time since I have seen anything written about it or discussed on news programs. Do the programming and communications folks at 101.9 REALLY think that their older listeners know what the HD capable radio stuff is all about? They do not bother to explain in the note why people need to buy a special radio to listen to their old station. Instead, there is a button on the top of the site called "The Future" which delves in to HD2. Good news - if you buy the HD2 radio - you can hear commercial free radio. Sounds like satellite radio WITHOUT the monthly fees folks! Woo hoo!

As a teenager, I shunned the easy listening and jazz for heavy metal (a phase) and hip hop. Now that I am approaching "a certain age" easy listening is a great compliment to the music I have been listening to for 20 years. The HD2 situation is not all bleak - I suppose after you purchase the HD2 radio you can hear other stations offering commercial free music. But there was nothing like pushing #4 on my radio console and getting smooth jazz without the hassle.

And a note to consumer product companies - people ages 45-65 like to spend money too and oh yeah the older demograhic is quite loyal - didn't you know?

HD Radio Tuners are available at Best Buy Car Electronics

Pioneer HD Radio Tuner for Select Pioneer Headunits

Sony HD Radio Tuner for Select Sony In-Dash Decks

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