Check out the new issue of Business Week. The cover story is "Love Those Boomers," and it's a fabulous rationale for why marketers and advertisers are going to be mining 50+ year old listeners. As the feature article points out, both qualitatively and quantitatively, there's so much money to be tapped with the leading edge of the Boomer generation, advertisers are finally begining to realize the world does not begin and end with 18-49s.
Read it over, and then ask yourself why radio is running away from the Oldies format – the clearest avenue we had for reaching these fiftysomething consumers. As the article points out, they are not married to brands and, in fact, can be marketed to – if the message is right. Radio has cultivated these listeners for more than 40 years – and now we're giving this franchise up to satellite radio and other outlets.
The one constant in these graying consumers' lives is their music tastes. They were molded in their formative years, when today's aging Boomers were acne-ridden teens. While they will work longer than their parents, enjoy empty nesting, and continue to spend on conveniences that will enrich their lives, their musical DNA is set. That's why Oldies stations still have solid ratings, and why Classic Rock has the same basic Top 5 25-54 rankings it's had for nearly two decades.
If radio gives up on this generation, it will be like giving away that valuable painting you've owned all these years. It hasn't lost its value, and in fact, could become very vital over the next decade or more. If we hang onto it.