Commentary

Radio Is An Emotional Attachment

According to Jacobs Media’s new study of core radio listeners, the high-tech revolution continues, but broadcast radio’s pathway to success may turn out to be more high-touch. The elements that often matter to audiences transcend gadgets and platforms.

Jacobs Media President, Fred Jacobs, says “... the data from the study suggest that focusing on connecting emotionally and meaningfully with listeners is radio’s best avenue toward remaining relevant and vibrant in the face of new digital competition...”

The study covers the entire spectrum of media, digital, and social activities, several key findings emerge from the study...

Media Usage Pyramid 2012 (% Population Using Media Weekly or More)

Medium

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% of Population Using

Cell phone

96%

Internet

93

AM/FM radio

92

TV

92

Social networking

85

Facebook

79

Text

76

Mp3 player

60

Stream video

58

Smartphone

52

Groupon subscriber

48

Internet radio

38

Public radio

30

Tablet

24

Twitter

22

Pandora

18

Satellite radio

15

In-car entertainment system

9

HD radio

6

Source: Jacobs Media Tech Survey, May 2012

 While “favorite songs” and local personalities are the highest ranking elements in considering the benefits of AM/FM radio, there are four emotional triggers that listeners value:

  • Having a radio on while they work
  • Helping them get in a better mood
  • Providing a feeling of companionship
  • Offering an escape from the pressures of everyday life

Pandora is the most popular pure-play Internet option, as 45% of “streamies” listen to some extent, easily besting competitors like iHeartRadio (19%), Spotify (7%), TuneIn Radio (7%), and Slacker Radio (5%). Pandora’s mobile app is the most popular among radio-centric applications, followed distantly by iHeartRadio’s app and the individual apps that stations commission.

Pandora Fans of Alternative, Contemporary Christian, Country, CHR, and Variety Hits are more apt to think of Pandora as “radio,” but users are split as to whether the Internet pure play should be considered radio, with 43% saying yes and 49% no.  

The survey found that 9% of the respondents drives a car with a digital dash, and among them 48% have connected their smartphone or mp3 player to the dashboard. Fans of news-talk and sports formats were more likely to turn to their phone seeking streaming content. Pandora was the most-used streaming app, followed by iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn and Slacker.

57% of core radio listeners start their day with another medium or gadget rather than turn on a radio at home or in the car.  Television is a close second to turning on a radio at home. The 18-34s are more likely to engage with email or Facebook for this “First Occasion” of the day

First Media Activity of The Day (% of Respondents)

Media Activity

20-30%

10-20%

5-10%

<5%

Radio at home

x

 

 

 

TV

x

 

 

 

Radio in car

 

x

 

 

Check email

 

x

 

 

Facebook

 

 

x

 

Texting

 

 

 

x

Other

 

 

 

x

Newspaper print/online

 

 

 

x

Websites

 

 

 

x

Satellite radio

 

 

 

x

Pandora

 

 

 

x

Source: Source: Jacobs Media Tech Survey, May 2012

52% now own a smartphone, and 93% download apps. Partisans of Alternative, CHR, Rock, and Sports/Talk stations have a greater propensity to own a smartphone.

Tablets are becoming a significant part of the digital story. 24% say they own one, and iPad has a big lead over all other competitors.  To underscore how tablets appeal to many different types of consumers, devotees of Hot AC and News/Talk radio stations are most likely to own a tablet.

Eight of ten of these core radio listeners are on Facebook.  CHR, Alternative, and Country fans are most apt to be daily Facebook users.

Access Time on Facebook

Access Time

% of Radio Listeners

Constantly

13%

Hourly or more

10

More than once a day

42

Couple of times a week

19

Weekly

4

<Weekly

5

Hardly ever

8

Source: Jacobs Media Tech Survey, May 2012

More than one-fifth use Twitter, and Sports/Talk emerges as the format where Twitter rules.  By far, sports-centric listeners are most likely to follow a sports station or personality on Twitter.

For more information from Jacobs Media, please visit here.

N.B. The Research Brief "Online Window Shopping... " posted on May 22nd., has been corrected to reflect appropriate attributation notations.

 

 

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