Jacobs Media Unveils Tech Survey 10 Results At Worldwide Radio Seminar
April 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM (PT)
JACOBS MEDIA's FRED JACOBS unveiled a wealth of information from TECH SURVEY 10 in the noontime hour at the WORLDWIDE RADIO SEMINAR 2014 in HOLLYWOOD TODAY (4/3). The annual survey the largest radio survey of all major formats with 37,063 respondents and 199 stations in NORTH AMERICA participating.
JACOBS said that radio is at the "digital tipping point," and displayed the annual Media Usage Pyramid showing what devices people are using, with cell phones at 97%, while AM/FM radio (listening for over an hour per day) is eroding somewhat to 78%, as streaming radio (55%) and PANDORA (22%) rise. Plus, 19% listen to podcasts or use a "connected car." HD Radio shows up for 18%, with a change in the question wording; JACOBS said that HD shows significant growth in this year's survey in other areas. AM/FM listenership erosion is more pronounced with those listening less than an hour per day.
Listening to traditional radios still occupies 80% of people's usage, but 17% has moved to digital platforms; sports listeners have moved more aggressively to digital platforms, with 29% doing so while 69% listen on traditional radios.
Surprisingly, a substantial majority of respondents did not agree with the idea that they might be "overwhelmed" with entertainment options; Millenials are more likely to say they're not overwhelmed with choice. Interestingly, Millenials are very engaged with digital content but are not willing to pay for content (satellite radio, for example); younger users are even more so.
Three-quarters of respondents said it was important to buy or own a car, and the lion's share of radio listening is in the car, the survey said, with Alternative and Top 40 having the highest percentages of listening in the cars and younger demos doing more in-car listening. Connected cars' top format is Sports, but the survey showed 89% wanting AM/FM radio in their cars, ahead of all other options, including iPOD connector (66%), CD player (61%) Bluetooth (51%), and down to connected car (25%), HD Radio (23%, the highest it's been in the survey), a DVD player (17%), and a hard drive for media (16%).
The survey said that the phone has passed the AM/FM radio as users' morning alarm device, paced by younger generations. And 17% said they use headphones "half the time or more" to listen, and it's far more pronounced for younger generations.
On the effect of social media on listening, 30% said social media interaction does make them more likely to listen to a station (with Top 40, Country, and Hot AC leading the way), while 39% said it would not and 31% remaining neutral, but younger generations are more likely to listen to stations linking with them on social media. Social media usage showed FACEBOOK in the lead across the board, but TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and SNAPCHAT making major inroads for younger demographics.
Radio apps are on 71% of smartphones, with PANDORA on 63%, iHEARTRADIO on 39% (possibly stunted because CLEAR CHANNEL stations did not participate in the study), iTUNES RADIO on 31%, and individual station apps at 30%. Also interesting was that 72% said they would be willing to register for streaming. PANDORA's biggest drawback in 2014 is that its "commercials are annoying," with "can't skip enough songs" second; both overtook 2012's top complaint, "miss hearing people," and younger listeners are the most annoyed with spots.
Radio remains the top choice for new music discovery, both in general and as a primary source. YOUTUBE, however, is making a dent for younger listeners in that regard.
JACOBS warned the audience that they need to "stop doing random acts of digital" and instead come up with a digital strategy; he advised that stations be more aware of the problem of measuring headphone listening, and stressed the importance of realizing "every person counts" in doing social media.