Jacobs Media has released a preview of its annual survey of core public radio listener’s usage and perceptions of media platforms devices and content. The full report with be presented at the Public Radio Content Conference (also still called “the PRPD”) Tuesday 9/29/15 through Thursday 10/1/15 in Pittsburgh.
Jacobs Tech Survey 7 is a comprehensive look at the DNA of public radio station’s core listeners and supporters. Like previous work by the Jacobs folks, I admire its clarity, conciseness and relevance. Another aspect I like about Jacobs research is that they present the data without spin: These are the facts, now you decide what to do.
I also recommend Jacobs Media’s blog [link]. More information about the PRCC can be found here [link].
AT THE CROSSROADS
A major conclusion of Jacobs Tech Survey 7 is that for the consumers of media, and those who create the content, are at a junction between old and new platforms. Digital usage has zoomed but some key heritage delivery systems – such as broadcast radio – continue to be used by many, many people.
I urge you to attend the Jacobs Media sessions at the PRCC for complete survey results and context. Today I will highlight a few of the slides from next week’s presentation.
SLIDE ONE: WHO WAS SURVEYED & WHY IT MATTERS
This is not a random sample. Respondents (19,730 in-tab) came from 54 public radio stations. Most of the respondents were members of station email databases or use of station’s website or social media pages.
|IMAGE COURTESY OF JACOBS MEDIA|
The responses were weighted by market size, meaning a response from New York may be a bigger factor than a response from Boise. The data was collected between June 15 and July 20, 2015. The survey methodology contains this important caveat:
This is a web survey and does not represent all public radio listeners or each station’s total audience.
What it does reflect is the tech usage and perceptions of the station’s most important customers: the folks who likely listen more often and support the station.
Slide One shows the distribution of respondents by format group. This approximation is skewed toward NPR News listeners. Classical and jazz station listeners are under represented.
SLIDE TWO: MEDIA USAGE PYRAMID
This is chart shows media platform and device usage by the respondents. The stars indicate mediums with the fastest growth in usage from previous Jacob’s Tech surveys. According to the 2015 data, the fastest adaptation is occurring with smartphones, streaming video, tablets and smart TVs.
Note that broadcast radio and TV still have significant usage, though more and more folks are accessing them via digital connections.
SLIDE THREE: SOURCES OF WEEKLY USAGE
This chart underscores the importance of radio listening in vehicles. Traditional media accounts for 78% of the usage and digital accounts for 19%.
SLIDE FOUR: IMPORTANCE OF “LOCAL FEEL”
About 70% of respondents say they agree or strongly agree with the notion that one of radio’s primary advantages it its “local feel.” Of course, “local feel” is a subjective quality. I believe the strong interest in “local feel” is what many respondents like about their local public radio stations.
SLIDE FIVE: USE OF ON-DEMAND MEDIA
Respondents of all ages are using more on-demand media, particularly millennials (“Gen Y”). One fascinating factoid is that 55% of respondents that use on-demand media are using podcasts.