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60 Minutes poll: Radio is listened to most for music

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A new poll conducted by TV magazine 60 Minutes, in collaboration with Vanity Fair magazine, found that Americans choose radio as their favorite music-listening medium more than any other. The survey sample included 1,017 American adults.

Nearly half of survey participants said they used radio “most often” for music listening. Streaming alternatives (bundled into “Digital music service”) represented 17% of respondents’ choices of favorite medium.

To whatever extent this survey offers directional guidance, it’s bad news for record labels, to whom radio is not required to pay royalties. Portable music players, presumably loaded with paid-for songs, received 15% of respondent love.

Audience type and listening environment can have important effects on survey results. In a recent RAIN Poll which asked for a favorite home listening device (different but related question), only 13% chose radio. But RAIN’s poll eliminated car listening, which could dramatically swing the result over to AM/FM.

Sorting by age also has an effect. The poll notes indicate that younger listeners (under 35) put radio in third place, favoring digital music services.

Brad Hill

3 Comments

  1. I wonder how clear the poll was for those taking it. Was radio defined strictly as AM/FM, or was it simply labeled “the radio” which some users would naturally think includes internet radio? They might think “Digital music services” includes Spotify, but not Pandora because it is radio. Or they listen to Pandora on their iPhone and therefore felt they should select the iPhone category.

    I find that these polls either include too much information (overly technical) or do not include enough information for people to accurately answer. Pandora could realistically fall into 4 of the 6 categories if they were not more specific to those taking the poll.

    • Thanks for the comment. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are collection agencies representing publishers, songwriters, and composers — not record labels and performers. for labels and performers, radio stations are not required to pay any royalties.

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