Tech Survey 7 -- A Look At How 'Most-Used Media' Affects Radio
June 10, 2011 at 3:45 AM (PT)
JACOBS MEDIA and ALL ACCESS presented the "TECH SURVEY 7 WEBINAR" on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th. The free webinar looked at the most-used media avenues, especially FACEBOOK and TWITTER, and how they can increase the consumer's enjoyment of broadcast radio. Below is a rundown of what happened on the webinar.
Whether it comes to communicating with one another or even interacting with their favorite stations, today's radio listeners are rapidly seeking out new avenues and channels, while broadening their use of entertainment outlets. At the same time, broadcast radio continues to play a significant role in their media lives, particularly when it comes to new music discovery. And in many ways, the advent and popularity of streaming and social media are the gateways to cementing and augmenting the time-honored relationship between the listener and the radio station. While radio is challenged to keep up with these sweeping changes, new technology provides a unique opportunity for a legacy media to expand and grow its influence and import.
TECHSURVEY 7 provides a road map for station owners and operators about the most-used media avenues and how they can increase the consumer’s enjoyment of broadcast radio. It also delineates the competitive factors that are of significance, and those that are still emerging or have been leapfrogged by other technologies.
Despite the rampant rise of social networking -- 80% of respondents have a profile -- the vast majority turns to email for their first digital contact of the day, most typically via a computer. The email club is also the tool that creates the strongest bond between the broadcast station and the listener, more so than a station's FACEBOOK page or TWITTER activity. Email still rules.
But social media -- notably FACEBOOK -- is the first digital contact point of the day for 16% of the entire sample, and one-fifth of the 18-34 year-old group. And in fact, mobile plays a significant role in driving that first digital contact as more than half of 18-34s (53%) use their phones for that initial daily connection to access email, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or text. For younger people, in particular, mobile is becoming a primary connector.
The mobile movement is reinforced by the fact that eight in ten respondents (80%) now say that in the past year, they either use their phones more or frequently for connecting with friends and family -- the highest of the media outlets tested. And nearly three-fourths (74%) say they’re using text messaging more or frequently during the past 12 months to communicate with others.
Six in ten (60%) say they’re utilizing FACEBOOK more or frequently in the past year to connect with friends and family, while email continues to be a major factor in personal communication, too. While down a bit from last year’s levels, three in four (73%) say they used email more often or frequently in the past year, underscoring its continued relevance, even among 18-34 year-olds.
The "R Word."
There are many ways to enjoy FM stations than by listening on a traditional receiver. Many respondents now access broadcast radio stations on multiple platforms. Three in ten (30%) visit the station website frequently, a quarter (24%) tune in the station stream with regularity, while nearly a fifth indicate they often use FACEBOOK to connect with a favorite station. These digital outlets have eclipsed some of the traditional connection points, including seeing personalities at station events.
Many of these core radio listeners say they would like a strong relationship with the station that sent them this survey. In fact, one-third (35%) say they are especially interested in a deep connection -- especially Rock and Alternative fans, as well as 18-34 year-olds. Thus, while some of these younger listeners listen to less radio than their older counterparts, their desire for a deeper connection with these stations is stronger.
Of those who already connect with stations through digital channels, being a member of the email club encourages the strongest connection, thus reinforcing the continued import of email. In fact, six in ten of those in the station database (62%) say it enables a strong relationship, compared to over half of FACEBOOK fans (55%), and just three in ten (31%) followers of the station on TWITTER.
While social media will be discussed in more depth in the next section, it plays a major role in relationship building with radio. Overall, nearly half (49%) of those with a social media profile say they’re a fan or friend of the station that sent them this survey on FACEBOOK; only 7% are followers of the station on TWITTER. Fans of the Rock and Alternative formats, women, and 18-34 year-olds are more apt to be clicking "like" on station FACEBOOK pages.
The Role Of Social Media
Overall, social media profile acquisition slowed down in TECHSURVEY 7 -- but given the rampant growth in last year’s survey, it almost had to. In this year’s study, growth is modest, but social media penetration has achieved nearly ubiquitous levels, as eight in ten respondents (81%) now have a social media profile.
More than three-fourths (77%) of all respondents have a FACEBOOK profile -- a jump of 9% from the 2010 study. Only one-fifth (18%) have a TWITTER account, but this platform is on the rise, as is LINKEDIN. MYSPACE, however, continues its slide, underscoring once again that despite rampant social media growth and its one-time leadership role, the tech world is both fickle and fluid.
Another key difference between FACEBOOK and TWITTER is in daily engagement and usage. Overall, more than seven of ten (72%) FACEBOOK users are on the site once a day -- or more often, underscoring social media engagement. Just over one-third of TWITTER users (36%) use the service at least daily.
The viral quality of social media is a factor in usage, too. Nearly two-thirds of those with a profile (63%) say they frequently or occasionally share content with others -- especially women who have a greater tendency to go the viral route.
The Rise of Smartphones (And Other Telephony Findings)
Smartphone ownership is one of the big stars of TECHSURVEY 7. Nearly half (46%) now own one -- an increase of 56% from last year’s survey.
A key differentiator is the smartphone platform itself. Those who own an iPHONE are more likely to "love" these devices, and are more apt to want to stay in the APPLE family when it comes time to purchase their next mobile phone. ANDROID owners are a close second in both dimensions, while those who own a BLACKBERRY are both less satisfied and less loyal, signaling ongoing problems for RESEARCH IN MOTION in the mobile space.
Nine in ten (88%) smartphone owners download free and/or paid apps, but APPLE owners -- iPHONE and iPAD -- are more likely to have considerably more apps on their devices, as opposed to both ANDROID and BLACKBERRY owners. In fact, half (50%) of those with BLACKBERRY devices have fewer than 10 apps on their phones.
"What’s your favorite app?" has replaced the famous horoscope question as an icebreaker at parties. In an open-ended format, TECHSURVEY 7 posed this same question to smartphone owners who download apps. FACEBOOK emerged as the runaway favorite, followed distantly by PANDORA, ANGRY BIRDS, and GOOGLE MAPS.
As a result of owning a smartphone, respondents’ usage of various devices has diminished, led by cameras and camcorders.
Finally, text messaging has become a primary communication activity for a majority of respondents. In fact, three-fourths now (73%) text on at least a weekly basis.
The Streaming Experience
As has been the case since these surveys began in 2005, weekly audio streaming continues to grow each year. In TECHSURVEY 7, nearly half (45%) now listen to Internet radio at least weekly, with the heaviest usage coming from Alternative fans.
What do they stream? Besides the top two sources -- the station that sent them the survey and other local stations in town -- PANDORA is in a solid third place, and growing strong.
PANDORA is especially popular among 18-34 year-olds, fans of Alternative and Triple A, and smartphone owners. PANDORA also has momentum -- more than a quarter (27%) of those who listen say they’ve tuned in much more during the past year. And a majority of these PANDORA listeners (51%) contend that it is better for music than commercial radio stations.
Video streaming has become more popular as well. Overall, half (49%) stream video at least weekly, with YOUTUBE emerging as the top source. Other key video streaming outlets include FACEBOOK, network television sites, the radio station that sent the survey, cable news, and NETFLIX.
Media And The Car
Six in ten (61%) respondents indicate they are able to connect a mobile phone or mp3 player into their primary vehicle.
Overall, nearly one in ten (9%) says they drive a vehicle with an in-dash system such as FORD's SYNC or TOYOTA's ENTUNE. Of these respondents, two thirds (65%) say they listen to a lot of AM/FM radio while driving. But a fifth (21%) report that as a result of these entertainment systems, they’re listening to less terrestrial radio.
Other Gadgets And Media
Satellite radio remains static in TECHSURVEY 7. Overall, 13% of respondents are subscribers to SIRIUS/XM -- nearly the identical levels since 2007.
HD RADIO ownership has moved from 4% in the 2010 survey up to 6% in this year’s report. It still lags behind many other devices and gadgets, but continues a slow but steady climb.
A new entrant this year -- tablets -- is emerging as a trend to watch. Overall, 7% own a tablet, of which the majority are iPADS. Of those who haven’t acquired one of these devices, more than a quarter (26%) say they are very or somewhat likely to make this purchase in 2011.
Radio And Music Discovery
Among these core radio listeners, heavy radio usage continues to be very strong. In fact, nearly a quarter of the entire sample (23%) say they tune in broadcast stations eight hours a day or more. Listenership is highest among devotees of the Rock and Classic Rock formats.
In terms of discovering new music, broadcast radio continues to be dominant. Given the choice of multiple sources, nearly 9 in 10 say they turn to FM radio, followed by friends/other people (61%), TV shows (36%), FACEBOOK (35%), movies (31%), and YOUTUBE (30%).
When it comes to the primary source for new music, however, FM radio dominates, selected by 55%. Overall, 12% choose friends/other people, while no other source is mentioned by more than 10% of respondents.
GROUPON has made a major impact in its short existence. Overall, more than a third (35%) subscribe to GROUPON, while nearly one-fifth (17%) are receiving LIVING SOCIAL deals. Triple A and Alternative fans, as well as women, are the most likely to utilize these digital coupon services.
Not surprisingly, a station-sponsored coupon program of one type or another is very attractive to more than eight in ten respondents (82%). Over half (55%) say they’d be interested in having the station send them coupons via email. Four in ten (39%) say they’d also appreciate receiving discounts by visiting the station’s website, while one in ten prefers either mobile delivery of coupons (12%) or deals via text messaging (10%).
Download a pdf of the results here.