5 Things You Didn’t Know About Classic Rock Music Fans

iStock_000026717038_SmallSince the early 1980s, classic rock — spanning the album-rock eras between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s — has dominated the radio airwaves. Now, with its mix of longtime mainstays like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, ‘80s rockers like Journey and U2, and even grunge superstars such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the classic rock format has never been more popular.

However, it might surprise you to learn that classic rock fans are not only diverse, but they are also influential decision makers in their household. Here are five facts that may make you consider marketing to this important demographic group for your next advertising campaign.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Classic Rock Listeners

1. They Are Affluent

Classic rock listeners may have grown up listening to the Grateful Dead or Metallica, but their jobs as adults are far from their hippie or headbanging roots. Rather, they have gone on to become leaders in their fields (for example, Apple founder Steve Jobs was a noted Bob Dylan fan).

In fact, Eventbrite shows that high-income earners (those making more than $90,000 per year) predominantly prefer going to rock concerts over blues, jazz, classical, and opera. Furthermore, a 2015 study by the Canadian Review of Sociology found that rock music is now classified as “highbrow” and preferred by those with incomes above $40,000. In other words, classic rock appeals to an increasingly affluent demographic—making it ideal for advertisers.

2. They Are Young(er)

When classic rock radio was in its infancy, it appealed directly to Baby Boomers eager to hear the music from their formative years. However, according to FiveThirtyEight, classic rock now extends far beyond Boomers. In fact, the number of younger fans jumped 50% in the last three years alone.

And they’re only getting younger: Nielsen ranks classic rock as the ninth most listened-to format by millennials, which the New York Daily News attributes new technology, such as streaming audio, and cultural influencers, such as popular movie soundtracks. Marketers can take this to heart and push for more social media and digital integration with their radio advertising campaigns.

3. They Are Nostalgic

While younger fans are tuning in, the primary feeder for classic rock stations is the coveted 35-52 demographic. These Gen-Xers, who make up the majority of classic rock’s listeners, want to hear the music one which they grew up, and the more classic rock radio plays ‘80s and ‘90s bands, the more they tune in. Since the shift towards incorporating ‘80s and ‘90s music has already begun on classic rock stations, it makes now the perfect time for advertisers to explore options in the format.

4. They Are Not Just Men

While the majority of the rockers heard on classic rock tunes may be largely thought of to be male, female fans still tune in loyally. For example, Cox Media Group’s The Eagle has a weekly make up of 43% women. That comes out to 450,000 women listeners in a major market location. Furthermore, a review by Music Machinery about the difference in male and female listening shows that while males do prefer harder classic rock bands and songs, women are more loyal to their favorite artists and tend to be more nostalgic in their listening. Familiar brands and products will appeal when trying to speak to female fans.

5. They Are Family-Friendly

In the 1950s and ‘60s, rock ‘n’ roll was enemy #1 in many households. But today, a new generation of parents looking to turn their children on to great music look for radio stations that feature artists such as the Beatles, Bob Marley, or even AC/DC. Psychology Todayattributes the increase in family listening of classic rock to several factors: classic rock music features more talent than today, parents are more hands on in what they teach and share, and certain generations are “culturally enshrined.” Advertisers should not be afraid to go “family friendly” with their advertising as it has a good chance of reaching a multigenerational group of listeners.

Classic Rock for All

From the wealthy to the millennials and the parents in the minivan, classic rock music has made its mark on music listening. With its diverse group of fans ranging in almost every age and demographic, classic rock listeners are a prime target for advertisers looking to reach a wide variety of audiences.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Country Music Fans


Country music is as American as apple pie. A favorite among radio listeners for generations, the genre has produced some of the most quintessential music and artists in the last two centuries, and its mainstream popularity only continues to grow by the day.

By understanding who Country music radio stations’ audience is and how the genre is changing, advertisers can find new opportunities to reach more modern and influential consumers that are as engaged as they are loyal.

5 Things Advertisers Must Know About Country Music Radio

1.   Listeners Are Young—and Affluent

Country music fans are often stereotyped as being older and uneducated, but the truth is, they are far more diverse. According to Nielsen, Country music is the second most listened-to format for the 18-34 demographic.Moreover, Billboard says that the average listener is 45 years old and makes $79,000 per year—$20,000 more than the average American. 30% have at least some college education, and 75% own their own homes. That means that Country music stations appeal to the most coveted age and income demographics.

2.   “Country” Isn’t a Single Format

While “Country” radio reigns supreme, it is important to know that the term “country music” is a compilation of several sub-genres, many of which are popular amongst Cox Media Group Houston radio stations. Each has its own unique sound, as well as customer base. Here are the three most popular:

  • Country: The most widely listened to type of country music, this format features bluegrass, western swing, cowboy, etc. Listeners are likely to be older and more traditional than their counterparts.
  • Hit/New Country: Just like their pop cousins, these stations revolve around the top 40 of country. The sound and listeners are both younger and tech savvy than other listeners. The New 93Q, for example, is a go-to station for fans seeking both up-and-coming artists and well-known trendsetters.
  • Classic Country: Classic country is a favorite among listeners longing to hear their favorite country songs and artists from the 1970s-1990s. Similar to classic rock, advertisers can find a big audience of more middle aged (34-52) men by marketing with stations such as Country Legends 97.1.

3.   Listeners Are Engaged and Loyal

According to a Spotify study of listeners, Country music fans are the fourth most loyal listeners. They tend to stick to their genre and do not venture far. But in addition to being tied to their favorite style of music, they are also engaged when they listen. Forbes reports that the Country Music Awards (CMA) was the most social show of the year, being tweeted about over 1.67 million tweets. When businesses can give Country music fans something to talk about, such as a good deal or a sponsorship for an event, these listeners are far more willing to not only participate, but share among their circles.

4.   Top 40 Has a New Sound

Gone is the good ol’ twang of the acoustic guitar or the soulful voice of a love spurned singer. Top 40 Country has moved away from tradition to embrace the pounding drum set and the piercing electric guitar. The manufactured sound has made younger men flock to the radio in droves. According to The Florida Times, nearly 20% of teens report being Country music fans; meanwhile, millennials (those between 20-35) have embraced the no-holding-back message of the newest version of Country music. To speak to these groups, advertisers need to create a message that sells the same way as the music. Spots should be more bold, edgy, and exciting. Also, the call-to-action should incorporate new technology (such as visiting a Facebook page) and include a buy-in.

5.   Values Are Still Important

While the sound may have changed, the listener’s core values have not. Just as they were when the genre first became America’s go to music, listeners are full of pride of for their home and their country. Rolling Stone argues that though the genres range in extreme from contemporary rock to downhome blues and folk, Country music’s heart remains with tradition and values. Listeners want their brands and products to speak to this. Businesses that are rooted in family, Americana, and hometown pride should express that loud and proud.

A New Kind of Country

Country music, with its diversity and range, is reaching a bigger and better audience than ever before. As one of the top radio station formats, Country music is a prime location for any marketing campaign. When advertisers better understand the modern Country fan and how the format has changed, they can develop their own loyal and engaged fan base.

How the Heat Affects Consumer Behavior in Houston

With temperatures soaring and the sun blazing down, there is no escaping the Summer weather in Houston. Most Texans claim that they aren’t fazed by the scorching heat. However, business owners and marketers in the area must understand how the heat affects customers and their purchasing decisions.

The Psychology of Hot Temperatures

Psychologists and market analysts have long asserted that temperature plays a direct role in how a person acts. For example, research from PsychCentral states that higher temperatures reduce depression but raise aggression levels.

Despite this, many businesses only pay attention to the weather and consumer psychology when they are working with the elements or selling seasonal products. The truth is, nearly every business experiences some repercussion from the heat.

Here are four major considerations Houston businesses and advertising leaders should capitalizing with when the temperatures heat up.

1) Location Matters

Summer in Houston is different from anywhere else in America; while 75° in Maine might make for a great day at the beach, it’s downright chilly for a summer’s day in Houston. This means that a one-size-fits-all marketing approach is doomed to fail. As Weather Unlocked explains, how a consumer experiences temperature directly affects their shopping patterns (i.e. visiting brick and mortar stores instead of online shopping).

In Houston, where comfortable summer temperatures are regularly in the upper 90s, advertisers must learn to “speak heat,” Texas-style. Viewers will not react positively, for example, to ads using a ploy such as “escape the heat” when it’s 79°. In other words, knowing your locale’s temperature profile is essential to good marketing.

2) Don’t Underestimate Projection Bias

On a hot day, there is little better than streaming through the Houston streets in a convertible with the top down. However, car dealers rarely can sell convertibles in the hottest months. That’s because shoppers often fall prey to “projection bias.” As Psychology Today explains, “projection bias” occurs when a consumer purposely does not make a purchase because of the weather. The convertible dealer (as well as the pool seller and sunscreen vendor) will have better luck shortly before the weather turns hot, when a consumer’s projection bias has him or her anticipating the hot weather rather than experiencing it.

3) The Optimal Temperature for eCommerce

Another common misconception is that online shopping decreases in the summer as Houston shoppers take to the streets. On the contrary, as one study shows, there was an increase of  46% in consumers searching online stores when temperatures increased from 68° to 77°. This is likely due to the fact that warmer weather ups the mood and makes people feel more at ease with purchasing an item they have no physical connection with.

4) Reduce Your Discounts

Harvard Business Review claims that warm weather also increases a perceived value. Those shopping in a hot room were more likely to buy versus those in a cold room. Just like online purchasing, it is because purchasing heat is connected to emotional warmth. And in return, shoppers will put a higher value on the item. Summer blow out sales, especially with larger products such as furniture, have little impact when consumers would be mentally ready to buy regardless of a hot Houston day.

Creating a Hot Weather Strategy

Research clearly shows a direct correlation between weather and consumer behavior, especially directly related to heat and extreme temperatures. However, just as no two customers are the same, your business’s weather-based plans should be flexible and malleable. The best and most effective way to design a weather strategy is to instead research your own data.

Using historical sales reports or your own knowledge, track how extreme temperatures may have created a real impact in your shoppers behaviors. Compare a surge or downturn in sales with weather websites such as Weather Underground, where you can determine your weather triggers (or meteorological events that cause a change in consumer behavior). You may be surprised to see shifts in consumer behaviors directly related to a hot, Houston day.

Heating Up Sales

When the weather heats up, Houston business owners shouldn’t sweat. Basic consumer psychology has shown that while heat may play a direct role in purchasing decisions, it is largely regional and can have a perception bias. Furthermore, a warm day may even cause a weather trigger that can bypass clearance sales or spur online shopping. By understanding how your business may be affected by the rising mercury, you too can ride the summer shopping heatwave.