Techsurvey 2024: Radio Listeners Very Wary Of AI Ads and Hosts


Jacobs Media first gave a preview of their Techsurvey 2024 findings about artificial intelligence at Country Radio Seminar in February, but now they’re giving a broader look across multiple formats ahead of the full presentation which will be held on April 25.

Jacobs Media gathered insights from over 31,000 radio enthusiasts in the US and Canada, revealing both the opportunities and apprehensions listeners have regarding AI’s integration into radio broadcasting. Techsurvey results highlight a general familiarity with AI among 58% of respondents, with a noticeable interest from younger demographics and specific format listeners, such as those favoring Alternative stations.

When focusing on AI’s application within radio, the survey respondents expressed the highest level of discomfort with the prospect of AI hosts replacing live talent, with 75% opposed to this development. There’s lesser, but still considerable, resistance to AI-voiced commercials and IDs, with 39% and 30% expressing major concerns, respectively.

AI Voices
Jacobs Media

Despite the curiosity around AI, there’s a pronounced concern about its rapid adoption, with 71% of respondents alarmed at the pace of AI development. This concern spans across all demographic groups surveyed. Skepticism about AI’s short-term societal impact is also prevalent, with 53% anticipating somewhat or very negative consequences.

A significant call for regulation is evident, with 75% advocating for legal frameworks to govern AI use. This concern extends to the political arena, where 51% express apprehension about AI’s potential influence on elections, particularly among older generations.

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs said, “Many radio companies have jumped on the AI bandwagon but with little guidance from their audience. This exclusive data from Techsurvey 2024 provides valuable feedback from partisans of 10 popular radio formats about their hopes and for now at least, fears of AI.”

Jacobs Media GM Paul Jacobs remarked, “It is still early days for AI in radio, but broadcasters need to respect the many concerns voiced by core fans of the medium. Up to now, many decisions have been made in a vacuum. Now the audience has a voice. We’ll be tracking their perceptions in Techsurveys in the coming years as the technology matures. The format level data for AI should provide welcome feedback for radio managers trying to get a handle on AI.”


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