A recent marketing message from SiriusXM asking, “Why waste your time with AM/FM radio?” elicited strong rebukes from the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters. Katz Radio Group has gone a step further with a poll of satellite radio listeners to find out just what their relationship is with AM/FM radio.
The rep firm’s survey found an overwhelming majority of weekly satellite radio listeners (74%) also tune in to AM/FM stations on a weekly basis. Zeroing in on daily usage, Katz says satellite radio consumers are just about as likely to listen to broadcast radio every day (34%) as satellite radio itself (38%). The July 2022 survey showed satellite listeners tune into AM/FM radio both in and out of the home, with 78% listening in the car, 49% on a traditional radio, 34% on computers and smartphones, and 20% via smart speakers.
The data show satellite radio listeners have “meaningful engagement” with AM/FM radio, Katz says. The majority of daily satellite radio listeners are not just casual broadcast radio listeners. Just over two-thirds (67%) report having a favorite station. “And they have a wide array of AM/FM favorites – The Wave, Power, The FAN, The Wolf, Star, The Bull, Cat Country, and Majic, to name a few cited by respondents,” Katz says in a Sound Answers blog post about the survey results. “Satellite consumers' relationships to AM/FM stations are long term commitments as well – they have been listening to their favorite AM/FM station for an average of 15 years.” That relationship runs deep with 8 in 10 stating that they would truly miss their station if it were gone.
The SiriusXM attack ad, which came in the form of an email marketing message that reverberated across the industry, drew a well-researched response from the RAB. In a corporate marketing email of its own last week, the RAB compared the broadcast and satellite radio services based on audience size. The trade group also cited numerous qualitative research studies that speak to the emotional connection listeners have with their favorite radio stations and personalities and the trust they place in them.
For its part, the NAB urged radio to stand up and reinforce the role it plays in informing and entertaining local communities. “Instead of turning a blind eye to SiriusXM’s disingenuous efforts, this is an opportunity for radio to continue spotlighting the incredible role we play in keeping listeners entertained, informed and engaged,” NAB CEO Curtis LeGeyt said in a blog post.