Tag Archives: am/fm

AM/FM Usage Drops below 90% In New Survey

Jacobs Media has updated its annual Tech Survey, which is a study of the media habits of core radio users. It’s a study that has 9 years under its belt now, so it’s a great chance to take a look at trends.

In the big picture of how media stack up in terms of usage, there’s been a pretty big shift, with people using AM/FM an hour or more a day dropping below 90% into fourth place behind TV since the release of last year’s results. AM/FM fell 3% in a year, which is a shift that is hard to ignore. Meanwhile, usage of Internet radio weekly or more jumped 7% year to year to 45%. Last year’s survey results assigned 18% of Internet radio’s 38% to Pandora, but this year’s results don’t offer specifics on Pandora’s share.

One of the salient takeaways from this study is that listeners are connecting with radio across a more diverse set of technologies. Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs says it’s about  “radio’s ability to uniquely connect with consumers on their preferred platform.” This survey of radio users is telling us loud and clear that they want to be able to access content across a diverse offering of media and devices.

jacobs tech survey 9

Report: Radio’s Tower Power Is Eroding

New data from Bridge Ratings takes a look at the new recipe for success for AM/FM stations and finds that it will take more than a tower to build an audience.

The study finds that terrestrial radio programming nets about 19 hours of listening. Current listening patterns show that 94% of that listening is still on the AM/FM dial and 6% is over the Internet.

Bridge Ratings AQH Pyramid 2012

By 2012, that listening will shift further, with tower based listening eroding to 90%, while Internet based listening shifts to 8% and mobile listening takes a position at 2% of the total time spent listening.

It’s critical that broadcasters understand these new device/technology preferences and accelerate content distribution over those platforms. Broadcasters should extend their streaming platform and develop side channels with alternative content that extends their brands. Data shows these channels can contribute to the long term growth of a station’s audience.

In addition, broadcasters should offer their primary content on mobile platforms as well as expanding to offer customizable content that is shorter in length and more interactive – to appeal to the mobile listener. These moves will position broadcasters to grow their audience in the face of eroding AM/FM based listening. I couldn’t agree more…

Bridge Ratings: 60 Million Listening to Internet Radio in the US

Bridge Ratings has released a new study on Internet radio listeners that provides some insight into the differences between listeners to AM/FM stations’ streams and pure-play, or Internet-only stations. Over 60 million Americans are listening to Internet radio weekly, with 84% spending at least five minutes listening to AM/FM streams and 62% to Internet based stations. AM/FM streams see a higher tsl as well, averaging about 2.5 hours per day versus 1.4 hours per day for Internet only stations.

But expect that to change. According to this report, AM/FM streams are at risk of losing audience because of their approach to streaming, which is generally simply a redistribution of their over the air content. Internet radio listeners think Internet only stations are more adventurous and provide more options for music discovery. Dave Van Dyke, President of Bridge Ratings, recommends that AM/FM stations develop alternative channels for their streams to offset future audience attrition.

When it comes to who is listening on mobile devices, Internet only listeners listen 18% of the time while AM/FM listeners spend only 8%. This of course, is a factor in the lower time spent listening number that Internet only stations have, as mobile listening sessions are going to be shorter than in-office or other more static listening.

There are some good takeaways in this research for AM/FM online stations that wish to optimize their audience growth. Broadcasters must stop viewing their streaming platform as a replay of their AM/FM programming and create new, exciting, alternative programming for their listeners. As I said in my list of ways to build a better digital presence, station managers must shift their thinking away from the idea that the on-air product is the most important element of their business, and recognize that the content is what matters.

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