Everybody’s Working for the Weekend: DOL’s 12/1 Overtime Rule Set to Impact Listening

Radio’s at-work dominance is unparalleled among media platforms. Across formats and markets, 75-80% of the audience is employed with 65% of weekday listening happening away from home.

For radio this doesn’t just represent a 40 hour work week, it represents 160 available quarter hours. More realistically a 50 hour work week represents 200 quarter hours and on down the line.

Courtesy: guardian-jp.com

Starting next week, the available quarter hours for millions of non-exempt American workers might take a hair cut as employers are in the process of making final HR decisions to maintain compliance with the FLSA.

These changes provide plenty of food for thought about radio’s role in the workplace.

After all, getting in the car and arriving at work are the two most important Moments of Truth for radio… the point when consumers turn on their preferred audio companion.   

For our part, these overtime changes have inspired us to revisit radio’s connection with its core consumer: employed persons and we offer these observations.

1. People are Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Even after these changes take effect, non-exempt workers aren’t going to feel like they’ve won the lottery. In fact, according to the Federal Reserve, almost 50% of Americans are unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense.

It’s a big reason why incentives matter. Even non-cash giveaways such as gift cards and movie passes help stretch a family budget.

Looking out at this economic landscape, understanding the role of incentives for Nielsen households, along with how important at-work listening is to heavy radio consumption, this year we officially trademarked Double Your Paycheck for use by our clients in addition to other Win@Work messages.

2. The Gig Economy and 9a to 5p Schedules: Every time you see the Post Office delivering Amazon packages on Sunday, it’s a reminder that a set work schedule is no longer guaranteed even for the Cliff Clavin’s of the world.

In fact, according to the Government Accountability Office, 40% of all workers are now contingent (temps, independent contractors, part timers, etc). When a station starts its “workday” at 9am with 90 minutes commercial free, are we unintentionally writing off members of the Gig Economy who regularly work non-traditional schedules? Not to mention full time employees working four 10 hour days or who telecommute and have been at work since 7am. How is radio winning their Moments of Truth?

For many of our marketing campaigns, we provide a listening grid so people can customize their contest entries based on their work schedule and when they can listen.

3. Radio Makes the Workday Better: Our most fundamental value proposition in winning Moments of Truth is that people enjoy listening to the radio. This was the in depth finding of Britain’s RAB back in 2011 in a report entitled, “Radio: The Emotional Multiplier” and it continues today.

People act in their own self interest. Faced with a variety of audio entertainment options, each day people seek out their favorite radio station to make their commute and workday more enjoyable.

When given the opportunity to meet a DJ or tour the station, Super-Fans are like kids on Christmas – they can’t get enough.

The American workday continues to evolve and radio will innovate along with it as we find new ways to serve our core consumers: employed persons.

To discuss how you can make the most of the changing workday and the 160 quarter hours it represents, please send us an email.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Doug Smith and the rest of the DMR/Interactive team, thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving.

Andrew Curran, President and COO, DMR/Interactive

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