Jacobs Media PRTS4 Survey Shows Public Radio Listeners Are Tech-Savvy
July 30, 2012 at 7:02 AM (PT)
In JACOBS MEDIA's fourth annual study of core public radio listeners across the U.S., the high-tech revolution continues. This well-educated radio audience is actively accessing information from a growing variety of media sources.
Partnered with THE PUBLIC RADIO PROGRAM DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION (PRPD), this PUBLIC RADIO TECH SURVEY explores the changing landscape of media usage and digital applications among public radio listeners. This year's study reveals strong growth for the acquisition of smartphones and tablets, as well as considerably higher usage of audio and video streaming technologies. While social media activity continues to trend higher in general, the public radio audience's use of TWITTER has shown spectacular growth.
PRPD Pres. ARTHUR COHEN said, "The ability to see our listeners' media usage in the context of the full range of radio audiences is critical to helping stations better target their resources in this ever-changing environment."
JACOBS MEDIA Pres. FRED JACOBS notes, "The data from PRTS4 continue to point to the public radio audience rapidly using new media and gadgets in the pursuit of informing themselves. Station programmers and managers would do well to better understand the fast rate of adoption, and shape content offerings accordingly."
Here are some of the key takeaways from PRTS4:
* Information please. Among commercial radio listeners, the most recent JACOBS MEDIA TECHSURVEY8 pointed to hearing "favorite songs" as the main motivation for listening to broadcast radio. But among the public radio audience surveyed in PRTS4, it is all about feeding their strong desire for information. Programs and hosts also play a significant role in driving AM/FM radio listening among core public radio listeners.
* Top of the morning. While slightly more than half (53%) of these core public radio listeners start their day listening to the radio -- especially at home -- one-fifth say that checking e-mail is a popular "first destinations" for media consumption. Approximately one in 10 reads a print newspaper or turns on the television to begin their media days.
* Members only. In PRTS4, 85% of respondents are "members" of the stations that sent them this survey. Of this group, nearly half say they’ve been members for five years or less, indicating new listeners discovering and appreciating public radio’s programming offerings. These newer members are likelier to be younger and fans of public radio’s Triple A-style formats.
* Net Promoter recommendation scores are spectacular for the public radio stakeholder stations that participated in PRTS4, holding steady at 67 -- consistent with NPS levels from the three previous PRTS studies.
* While media consumption has increased in many dimensions, readership of daily newspapers -- print and/or online -- has fallen 10% since PRTS3.
* More than half (52%) now own a smartphone. Of these public radio consumers, more than nine in ten download apps.
* Three in 10 (30%) own a tablet, especially partisans of public radio's News and Triple A stations. Among those who don't own a tablet, nearly four in 10 (37%) say they are very or somewhat likely to take the plunge in 2012.
* While more than six in 10 (63%) public radio listeners in PRTS4 have a profile on FACEBOOK, nearly one-fifth (18%) now use TWITTER -- up 57% from the previous study. It's the 18-34 year-olds that are most apt to follow a public radio station, host, or show on TWITTER.
JACOBS MEDIA will deliver a special presentation of PRTS4 at the PUBLIC RADIO PROGRAM DIRECTORS CONFERENCE in LAS VEGAS on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th at 4p. "Deconstructing the Digital Divide" will compare the findings from PRTS4 to JACOBS MEDIA's TECHSURVEY8 from earlier this year, conducted among more than 57,300 commercial radio listeners.