Public Radio Listeners Are Shifting Gears

by: Jennifer Lane

In their newly updated survey of public radio listeners, Jacobs Media reports that listening to radio is growing, but listening to broadcast radio is declining. While public radio listeners who spent an hour or more a day listening to AM/FM declined 2%, those who listened weekly or more to Internet radio increased 16%. Now 87% of public radio listeners listen daily to AM/FM and 46% listen weekly online. 6% listen to HD Radio, a number that fell 3% in the past year.

Half of public radio listeners connect a smartphone or mp3 device in their cars to listen and nearly 10% of public radio listeners own cars with connected dashboards. 41% of public radio listeners say they do most of their listening to AM/FM in their cars.

As I was reading this study I was thinking about all the growth in listening that is going on these days. There are so many ways to get great audio content, and so many ways to listen. In a way it seems odd to keep focusing on WHICH technology listeners are using to access the content. It’s necessary and interesting of course, mainly because we are witnessing a major shift – away from listening via AM/FM exclusively. Many broadcasters are still trying to come to grips with that shift, and studies like this are helping them understand. It’s not HOW they listen that matters…

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