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Among Radio’s Biggest Fans, Nearly A Third Listen To Podcasts Weekly.


Jacobs Media’s annual Techsurvey, a report that looks at the media habits of the biggest listeners of AM/FM radio, finds they spend 4% of their audio time listening to podcasts produced by their favorite radio station. Overall, 31% of these core radio listeners say they listen to podcasts on at least a weekly basis. That’s down two points from a year ago.


“We actually see podcasting slipping a little bit,” said Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs. “I know that flies in the face of some of the other research that you may have seen, but among this core radio audience, podcasts are not super popular,” he said on a webinar last week.


There is a big difference depending on how old the radio listener is. Techsurvey says half of Millennial radio listeners consume podcasts on at least a weekly basis, compared to 23% of Baby Boomers.“They are massively different,” Jacobs said. “That’s a two-to-one difference in overall reach. So that’s good to know, whether you’re programming to Millennials, or you’re programming to Boomers.”


Broadcast radio still dominates in-car listening. Jacobs says a majority 54% of in-car audio use goes to AM/FM radio. But podcasts are making inroads. The survey says 6% of core radio listeners say they also listen to podcasts while in a vehicle. Another 7% listens to streaming music, pointing to a growth of digital audio in the car as more drivers have dashboards that make online audio a lot easier to access. Jacobs says the message for AM/FM radio is clear. “The more people go out and buy these vehicles with infotainment systems, the more challenging it is going to be,” he said.


Techsurvey also shows that although digital listening continues to play a key role in AM/FM radio usage, the transformation is slowing. Jacobs says 38% of time spent with their favorite station goes toward digital platforms — like streaming, podcasts or smart speakers. That’s the same as a year ago. That is up from 17% a decade ago.


Jacobs Media’s 2024 Techsurvey is based on data collected from 31,413 listeners to 500 commercial radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. Most were recruited from radio station databases, while others came from station websites and social media. It was conducted Jan. 9 to Feb. 11.

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