PRTS7 reveals the following trends, impacting the entire public radio system:
- The “why” of public radio: It’s about learning, credibility and objectivity, and a deeper perspective into news that drives ongoing public radio usage. Each of these values is mentioned by at least three-fourths of PRTS7 respondents.
- On-demand: Weekly usage of video streaming platforms like YouTube and Netflix is higher among public radio listeners than streaming audio channels like Pandora and Spotify.
- The rise in podcasting: Nearly one-fourth (23%) of public radio partisans agree they’re listening to more on-demand content from their favorite public radio stations and networks. And more than four in ten (44%) say they’ve listened to a podcast or on-demand audio in the past month. Among Millennials, three-fourths (76%) have accessed on-demand audio or podcasts in the past 30 days.
- And the winner is…: The most popular podcast among public radio respondents is “This American Life,” followed by “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” “Radio Lab,” “Serial,” and “Fresh Air.”
- Socializing: Nearly eight in ten (78%) public radio devotees are in the social space, led by Facebook and LinkedIn. But these platforms vary considerably by public radio formats, generation, and gender.
- Big news: By 4pm, one-third (33%) of public radio listeners say they’re very informed about the big news stories of the day. Most credit their local public radio stations and NPR new reports, but younger fans are more apt to have gotten their news and information from social media sand national news websites.
- Car radio rules: Of those in the market for a new vehicle in the next year, nearly nine in ten (89%) say an AM/FM radio is very important. However, many are also interested in new in-car technology, including Bluetooth and an AUX IN connector.
And Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs notes, “The public radio audience is on the move, increasing its use of digital media. Fortunately, the system is answering changing audience needs with podcasts like ‘Serial’ as well as mobile applications like the NPR One app.”
Fred Jacobs will participate in a special session at the Public Radio Program Directors Convention in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, September 29 – “The State of the Public Radio Audience” with the RRC's Dave Sullivan and Edison Research's Larry Rosin. Later that afternoon, Fred will moderate a live focus group of public radio listeners later that day covering topics that include membership and pledge.
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