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Do Consumers Really Want FM In Their Cellphones?

Ramsey: It doesn’t seem to be a factor in purchase decisions

We’re asking consumers the wrong questions about using FM in cellphones to determine their interest, according to Mark Ramsey of Ramsey Media; and as a result, radio seems to have the wrong idea that consumers really want FM in their cellphones.

The programming consultant says this would jive with what the Consumer Electronics Industry has been saying as it disputes the NAB’s viewpoint.

Ramsey believes that since there are cellphones on the market with the FM chip enabled, it makes sense not to ask “will you use FM if it’s built in,” but rather “have you ever used FM radio as a decision factor in the mobile phones you have purchased?”

He believes the notion that “if we build it, they will come” was wrong when HD Radio was introduced, and still is.

In a telephone survey done with VIP Research, Ramsey asked approximately 1,000 listeners age 10–54 whether they had shopped for a cellphone that contained FM radio; the majority, 88%, said no.

When asked why not, the majority said built-in FM wasn’t a factor when they choose a new phone. Of the “small fraction” looking for FM when they chose a new phone, 69% said they did actually buy one with built-in FM.