OK, getting back to my original post, I understand the demo story. Women who make up a large part of AC's demographic, have been listening to uptempo music on Top 40 stations and so you say, they don't want soft music on their AC station.
So I guess my question is more about psychology than demographics. Why is this generation the first generation that doesn't want soft music in their lives? Lots of people in past generations who grew up with uptempo Top 40 radio in their teens moved to Soft AC as they got older. Why not this generation?
And what happened to this generation that they also can't make the transition to Smooth Jazz or Classical music either? When past generations got a little older, they found new musical genres to explore that were not as uptempo as the music they liked in their teens. There were commercial Classical stations in all the big cities (two in NYC, Chicago and SF) that have died over the last few years. Our parents were happy to have big orchestras re-interpret the hits in a softer fashion, and that was the Easy Listening or Beautiful format that also had many successful stations in each market till about 20 years ago.
How did Smooth Jazz die? I don't think many of those people born in the 50s and 60s grew up with any special affinity for Jazz, yet they embraced the Smooth Jazz format in many markets. So why are those born in the 70s and later not interested as they get older in trying a musical style different from what they were listening to in their teens?
Easy Listening, Classical, Jazz... why did past generations switch to these stations as they aged but today's Generation X won't do it?
You raise a very good question here. (I saw a similar question that was recently posted in the Chicago forum and gave a response there as well.)
My guess is that this generation is so ADD and is completely addicted to the notion of having everything now. Technology is rampant, and people cannot focus their attention on anything for any reasonable length of time. People get bored easily and have no tolerance for soft music. It's very sad.
Regarding Easy Listening, Classical, and Jazz... I think the reason Generation X won't switch is because that kind of music was already falling out of favor with their parents who grew up in the '60s and '70s. Those formats were probably very popular in the '40s, '50s, and '60s, but then rock & roll became huge and the parents of the Gen X'ers wanted to listen to that instead. Those tastes then were passed along to the kids (Gen X'ers).
The whole thing makes me sick. I really enjoy my Top 40 music, but there are LOTS of times when I really crave softer music. At work I stream a Soft AC station out of Miami (WFEZ) and absolutely love it. It keeps me sane and is not "sleepy" at all.