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JacobsMedia-Radio-Listeners-SocNet-Adoption-by-Generation-May2013The newly-released Techsurvey9 from Jacobs Media contains some very interesting data about the social networking preferences of Gen Z (born in 1993 or later) radio listeners. The study, which finds that radio listeners in the US and Canada are highly social overall, shows that compared to older generations, Gen Z listeners have a strong affinity for emerging social networks such as Tumblr and Snapchat, and are less drawn to Facebook. In fact, the survey finds that Baby Boomers (born between 1946-64; 73.3%) are as likely as Gen Zers (72.9%) to have a Facebook account. The results come on the heels of research from Piper Jaffray which found Twitter challenging Facebook as American teens’ most important social network.

Looking at the Jacobs Media data, which comes from a survey of more than 78,000 core radio listeners in the US and Canada (including more than 3,000 Gen Z respondents), although just 1.5% of respondents overall report using Snapchat, that figure rises dramatically to 13.5% of Gen Z respondents. Additionally, 17.5% of Gen Zers report using Tumblr, about 5 times the overall average of 3.6%, and 35.4% use Google+, compared to 20.1% overall. Gen Z’s use of Twitter is also strong, with 38.5% of respondents reporting having a Twitter account, though that trails Gen Y’s adoption rate of 42.8%. (Gen Yers are defined as in being born between 1975 and 1992.)

Aside from their interest in “secondary” social networks, Gen Zers are also leading the charge in radio’s digital transition. When asked to describe their last week’s listening to the radio station that sent them the survey, respondents overall said they spent 14% of the time tuning in on digital platforms, whether that be through the computer, mobile or other formats. But that figure rose among younger generations, with Gen Zers reporting listening digitally 21% of the time, 50% more than the average.

Other Findings:

  • 68% of Gen Z radio listeners report watching TV for at least 1 hour per day, compared to 93% of Baby Boomers.
  • Tablet ownership is highest among Gen X (born between 1965 and 1974) radio listeners (42%), followed by Gen Y (39%) and Baby Boomers (33%).
  • 74% of Gen Z listeners have an MP3 player, compared to 42% of Baby Boomers.
  • Gen Y (21.2%) was most likely to report using MySpace, at almost twice the rate of Gen Z (11.2%).
  • FourSquare is also most popular among Gen Y radio listeners (8.3%), followed by Gen X (5.1%).
  • Gen Z (22.9%) and Gen X (22.4%) are about equal in their use of Pinterest, with each of those generations trailing Gen Y (33%).
  • Instagram is most popular among Gen Z respondents, with 30.8% reporting adoption. Gen Y respondents are close behind, with 29.3% using the site.

About the Data: Techsurvey9 results were gathered online from January 29-February 19, 2013. Overall, 264 broadcast stations across the U.S. and Canada participated, contributing 78,111 respondents.

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