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Millennials Present Pubradio With Challenges, Opportunities

Yup, the demographic embraces mobile and social platforms more

The millennials are different, folks.

That’s a point driven home by findings in Jacobs Media Strategies’ 8th Annual Public Radio Techsurvey; Radio World is reporting on its findings all this week.

Techsurvey is a study of how public radio listeners use various media. It draws its data from 29,406 public radio listeners via surveys distributed by 69 public radio stations to their members.

The survey reports that 75% of millennials wake up with their mobile phone rather than a traditional clock radio and 49% even admit to being addicted to their smartphones. While among all respondents 88% reported owning at least one radio at home, that number drops when millennials are singled out, to only 65%.

Millennials are also the largest demographic listening to podcasts and more likely to interact with their favorite public radio station via podcasts and mobile apps, the study found.

Looking at broader trends:

Among respondents of all ages who listen to podcasts at least once a month, large numbers listen to radio shows already aired (51%) as well as podcasts on news, current events and politics (49%). For some perspective, only 8% of monthly podcast listeners reported tuning into sports-related shows and 7% reported listening to travel topic shows.

An overwhelming amount of these public radio listeners reported being on social media (77%). Of those, 90% are on Facebook.

When it comes to public radio membership, 50% of respondents reported being sustaining members — meaning they donate some amount of cash on a monthly basis — and 43% reported being annual members, donators who give during periodic public radio station fund drives. Among sustaining members, 54% were women and 45% were men.