Jacobs techsurvey10: digital preferences of core radio listeners

techsurvey10 300wThe 2014 edition of Jacobs Media‘s annual techsurvey10 is out (slides here), revealing sharp increases in digital devices, social platforms, and mediums among core radio listeners. Connected-car listening, Pandora, Twitter, tablets, streaming radio, streaming video, and smartphones all grew by double-digit percentages over 2013. Correspondingly, AM/FM radio listening dropped by 12%.

Radio’s reach remained strong at 95% among respondents, but when asked about length of time listening, a three-year trend shows increasing numbers of people listening for less than an hour. 17% of radio listening happens of digital sources — computer streams, mobile apps, and podcasts.

In the digital-dashboard realm, the survey revealed that 19% of respondents are in what they describe as a “connected car” most often. the presence of an “iPod connector” (not Bluetooth) is an important feature to 66% of the survey population when shopping for a new car.

Despite news of Facebook’s decline among some demographics, techsurvey10 found it to be the overwhelmingly dominant social platform, favored by 95%, with 73% using FB every day.

More than a third of survey respondents admit they are addicted to their cell phones. (We suspect some denial in the 46% who disagreed with the question.)

When it comes to Internet radio preferences, the Jacobs survey results of brand preference align with The Infinite Dial 2014, showing Pandora, iHeartRadio, and iTunes Radio at the top of the pecking order.

Interestingly, when queried about market-leader Pandora, people complained about commercials, and the limitation on skipped songs. Of course, dishing out five bucks a month eliminates both those problems. But as a free service, Pandora’s commercial load is far lower than in FM radio, and there is some attempt to target listeners with relevant ads. (Often unsuccessful, admittedly, in our experience.) Those two complaints have escalated dramatically over the past three Jacobs studies.

Finally, radio remains a dominant music-discovery medium, as other studies have discovered — but that result skews strongly to older demographics, with GenZ split between terrestrial and online sources for new music.


Brad Hill