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Four in Ten Techsurvey 2020 Respondents Own “Hearables”

Numbers skewed towards younger and ethnic listeners

A new category appearing in Techsurvey 2020 is “Hearables,” defined as wireless headphones and earbuds. Who uses “hearables,” and for how long?

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

The numbers Jacobs research found are almost evenly divided between male and female, but show a dramatic stratification by age. The silent generation trails with 20%, and Gen Z leads with 62%. No surprises there.

[Read: Techsurvey 2020 Says Home Stations Leads the Streaming Audio Pack]

Far more interesting is the TS 2020 breakdown of “hearables” use by ethnic groups. The Hispanic respondents lead with 52%, Asian is next with 50%, African American 47%, while Caucasian trails with 39%. What’s behind this trend?

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs doesn’t have any hard data to answer that question, but he shares his thoughts. “Wearables might be perceived by some groups as a fashion statement, in the same way as designer clothes. This is a new category for Techsurvey, so we’ll need to watch and see how it trends in future research.”

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

When you break the “hearables” numbers down by format, rhythmic urban, CHR and sports radio fans are the most likely to use these devices, all at around 50%. At the trailing edge are classic hits listeners with 33%.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

Jacobs data suggests that more than one in five use headphones/earbuds for AM/FM radio listening at least half the time. Note that in this category “hearables” includes conventional wired headphones along with wireless devices.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

TS 2020 also looked at music discovery. The research said that AM/FM is still the first place where listeners go to find new music and artists, although radio is slowly losing its lead. It was the place where 41% went in TS 2018, 39% for TS 2019 and 38% this year.

Trailing far behind AM/FM are friends/relatives, Spotify, SiriusXM, YouTube/YouTube Music and Pandora.