Public Radio Listeners Are Educated & Gadget-Savvy

Jacobs survey detects penetration of Pandora and gains for HD Radio
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Jacobs survey detects penetration of Pandora and gains for HD Radio

Public radio listeners are highly educated; and they love their handheld devices.

That’s according to a survey of about 21,000 respondents for the Public Radio Tech Survey, conducted by Jacobs Media and the Public Radio Program Directors Association.

In this third survey, involving some 40 public stations, results show “an impressive trend of media usage and gadget acquisition” from texting to ownership of eReaders and iPad, according to the announcement. Participating stations invited their listeners to take the Web-based survey; the stations are a cross-section of the public radio community, from large and small markets.

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs says the results show smartphones continue to be hot, led by the Apple iPhone.

Jacobs also has posted a visual summary of the survey’s results.

Key findings (see the company’s spiffy graphic) show that eight in 10 public radio listeners have a college degree. More than a third of respondents now own a smartphone, up 29% from last year’s study.

Pandora makes its first appearance in this study. One-fourth of public radio survey takers listen to Pandora monthly or more.

HD Radio ownership continues to rise, though its total number is relatively small. Overall, 6% say they have an HD Radio, up 22% from last year. Satellite radio held at 13%, similar to last year’s levels.

Internet radio streaming shows gains. Four in 10 participants listen to streaming audio at least weekly, up 17% from last year’s survey.

Last year’s big headline was about social media. While momentum has slowed, nearly two-thirds of respondents now have a profile. Facebook and LinkedIn are the big gainers, while MySpace’s share has decreased, according to the survey results.

Participating stations represent formats like news, classical, jazz and triple A.