TechSurvey11 queries radio listeners on audio consumption

techsurvey11 logoWith the release of Jacobs Media’s annual TechSurvey (this being #11) we see similar broad strokes as drawn by other research during the past year. Broadcast radio maintains wide reach while alternative sources of listening and music discovery hold a meaningful share of audience. Adoption of digital and streaming audio delivery skews to younger demographics.

See all the survey slides here.

The Jacobs TechSurvey queries members of radio station email databases, across 220 stations. The survey is conducted on the web. Because of changes to questions and demographic definitions, little long-term trending is represented, though there are some three-year comparisons.

A Media Usage Pyramid shows radio at 92% reach among participants who listen at least one hour a day. Smartphone media consumption is pegged at 81%, while streaming audio is used weekly by 57% of the group. YouTube is the online media brand used most often (53%).

techsurvey11 pyramid

Interestingly, two-thirds of radio listeners who stream radio webcasts would register. Since most of the respondents were culled from radio station lists, where presumably the members had surreendered their email addresses, there might be built-in favorability toward registration. In the recent RAIN Summit West, Simon Cole (CEO of 7digital) said that registering users was the most important thing radio stations could do to create smarter and richer advertising inventory.

TechSurvey11 drilled into sentiment around Pandora. Nearly half of listeners to radio webcasts also listen to Pandora weekly. but complaints were registered in the survey process, the two main ones being the skip limitation (six per hour per station) and “annoying” commercials. (Ad load was not mentioned in the results, or was not offered as a choice.)

Mobile listening is a huge trend across the board, as reflected in responses to a TechSurvey question about phone addiction. Among cell phone owners, more than a third admitted to being “addicted” to their phones. Smartphone ownership has risen over the last four iterations of TechSurvey, from just over 50% in TS8 to over 75% this year.

Two-thirds of mobile device users download radio-centric apps — more than half of those downloads are Pandora; iHeartRadio is next. “This station’s app” is downloaded less than 20% of the time.

When it comes to music discovery, TechSurvey11 caught the same general message as The Infinite Dial 2015 from Edison Research — AM/FM radio and offline personal connections (friends, family, and relatives) brought the most new music into people’s lives. YouTube scored high in both surveys. Jacobs Media found a generational trend here, as Gen Y respondents used Pandora and YouTube for music discovery much more than older survey participants.

The car figures importantly in people’s listening habits. Half of the survey group said that most or all of its listening occurs there. Over 60% currently have the ability to connect a smartphone to their car dashboard. As they look toward buying new cars, the survey reveals demand for both AM/FM (89%) and smartphone connectivity (64%).

Brad Hill

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