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Public Radio Audience Craves Information

In Jacobs Media Public Radio Tech Survey 4, listeners sound off about tablets, texting, Twitter

Public radio’s well-educated audience craves information and they’re getting it from more newer technologies such as like smartphones, tablets and Twitter rather than traditional radio receivers.

In Jacobs Media’s annual survey of public radio listeners, the findings also point to the growing use of audio and video streaming technologies. Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs said based on the results from 30,700 public radio listeners, station programmers and managers would do well to better understand the fast technology adoption rate and “shape content offerings accordingly.”

While music fuels morning drive listening among commercial radio fans, information is the main driver in public radio; hosts also play “a significant role,” according to the PRTS4 findings.

While 53% of these core public radio listeners start their day listening to the radio, one-fifth say checking email is a popular “first destinations” for media consumption. Approximately one in 10 reads a print newspaper or turns on the television to begin their media days.Nearly one-fifth (18%) now use Twitter — up 57% from the previous study.

Three in ten (30%) own a tablet, especially partisans of public radio’s News and Triple A formats. Among those who don’t own a tablet, nearly four in ten (37%) say they are very likely or somewhat likely to take the plunge in 2012.

The Public Radio Program Directors Association partnered with Jacobs Media on the survey. The full findings of Jacobs’ Public Radio Tech Survey 4 will be released at PRPD’s annual convention in September in Las Vegas.