Radio Proves a Prime Source of New Music for Listeners

May 3, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Media & Entertainment | Men | Radio | Social Media | Technology | Women | Youth & Gen X

jacobsmedia-primary-source-of-new-music-may2012.jpgRadio doesn’t just provide its listeners with emotional drivers, it also serves as a primary place for them to find out about new music and artists, finds Jacobs Media in an April 2012 report. The survey, which polled more than 57,000 US and Canadian radio listeners, found that an impressive 50.8% cited FM radio as their primary source for finding out about new music and artists, making it a far more popular choice for sourcing new music than friends or other people (9.8%), kids (4.9%), Facebook (4.8%), or iTunes.

4 in 10 Say They Can’t Live Without Radio

This might be one reason why radio listeners appear wedded to the medium. 41.7% of the respondents said they can’t live without the AM/FM radio stations in their area, while a further 49.3% said the stations are important but not life and death. Of those for whom the question was applicable, roughly half said they could not live without their laptop computer, while a similar proportion said they could not do without their smartphone (although this rose to about 60% among 18-34-year-olds).

Half Listen Most in the Car

Data from Jacob Media’s “Techsurvey 8? indicates that a majority of radio listeners say they do either all (27.7%) or most (25%) of their weekday AM/FM radio listening in a car. 18-34-year-olds are more likely than the average to say they do all their listening while in a car (35.7% vs. 27.7%), and men are also more likely than women to indicate this to be the case (29.3% vs. 26.5%).

The high proportion of radio listeners who tune into radio in a car, presenting somewhat of a captive audience, may be a reason why radio does a super job of holding its audience during commercial breaks. In fact, on average, radio delivers 93% of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks, according to a December 2011 study conducted by Arbitron, Media Monitors, and Coleman Insights.

Other Findings:

  • 38.2% of radio listeners say they listen to internet or streaming radio on at least a weekly basis.
  • The preferred way to listen to internet/streaming radio, among the American respondents who do so, is on a computer (75.9%), while 21.1% prefer doing so on a portable device such as a smartphone or tablet.
  • Slightly more than one-quarter of the American respondents who listen to internet or streaming radio say they listen to Pandora at least weekly.
  • Almost 1 in 10 respondents from the total sample indicate that the main vehicle they drive has a built-in entertainment/information system.

About the Data: The Jacobs Media survey was fielded from January 31 to February 15, 2012. 170 commercial stations from the US and Canada, plus a syndicated show and 2 internet stations, participated. Most respondents are members of station email databases. Some responses were gathered via the station’s website or social networking pages. No station contributed more than 4% to the sample. The total respondent sample is 57,358. As a web poll, it cannot replicate all radio listeners nor even each station’s audience.


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