The Perception of Radio is Not The Reality


On Thursday Jacobs Media presented its annual TechSurvey. This year 46,000 people from over 500 radio stations participated in the survey between January 7 and February 9. The survey ended shortly before the coronavirus crisis gripped the nation. Fred Jacobs made the hour-long presentation from the basement of his home in Detroit.

From the research that Jacobs gathered was the stunning statistic about how radio is perceived by radio listeners, when compared to other media. And, it confirms what Entercom CEO David Field has said for years, that radio is under-valued by advertisers. It also confirms that radio still has work to do in telling its story, even to its own audience.

When Jacobs asked listeners what they believed the market share was for SiriusXM, Spotify, Pandora and Radio, compared to the actual market share backed by trusted research, here’s what your listeners said…

Jacobs commented that even fans of radio discount the value and importance of radio.

Also from the Tech Survey, the top three reasons for listening to radio are:
#1 – Ease of use in the car (69%)
#2 – Radio is free (62%)
#3 – The DJ’s and hosts (59%)


  1. I find it really annoying to say the least that Radio continues to bring forth extremely compelling research.. research upon research that continues to verify that a huge % of population listens to the radio every week, EVEN Millennials. Yet people such as the ones who commented here continue to not believe (even though the answers come straight from the consumers mouth) and think media consumptions are solely based of their own. Get your head out of your ass, you are not the only one in the world and not everyone has the same consumptions as you. Just because you don’t listen to radio does not mean everyone else is the world doesn’t either. I am a 29 year old MILLENNIAL and I listen to radio everyday when I drive, why? Because it brings me back to my grass roots when I used to be a passenger in my parents car. I don’t have to think about what to listen to, or distract myself from driving to change a song on my phone. I can listen and hear my favourite music without having to break the law. Continue to pump out great research like this… it does not go unnoticed from true believers and maybe someday they will believe too.

  2. All these pep talks won’t make radio relevant again. It’s attained at best the bargin closeout at the far corner of the super market, next to the soon to be expired vitamins, and off brand tooth paste brands. Jeff made some solid points, a lot of friends are Millennials, they nod their head when they ask what business I am in, and usually seem mystified as to why there are still radio stations. These are educated people with good jobs, they were born leaning forward.

  3. Radio continues to be everywhere consumers are and assisting millions in many ways, including feeding them and raising money to help those affected in this pandemic.
    The iHeartRadio concert on Fox last night was a terrific example of being where consumers are and stepping up in a time of need.

  4. Unless AM/FM radio becomes a viable and appealing medium while generating significantly better ROI for its advertisers, it will continue staggering through a land of indifference.
    And that could have been said before the chaos of Covid-19 was wrecking revenues.
    Stations taking the necessary steps for improvement, however, are no longer even on the radar.
    But now, at least, they have perfectly good excuses that are acceptable to…uh… everybody.

  5. Sadly I am not sure if I can buy this info. Have you ever watched 30 somethings come into your car. They immediately plug in there iPhone jack and listen to the music they have programmed. Plus they are the future of owners in the country, radio will not be there choice for advertising for their products. We live in a different world, radio stations are going black and being sold for close to nothing


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