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Smartphones, Facebook, Pandora Rate High With Rock Listeners

Jacobs Media Tech 7 survey shows HD Radio use growing, though still small; satellite radio stagnant

Whether Pandora is radio or not doesn’t matter; your listeners are using it.

Meanwhile, HD Radio use is growing while satellite radio use has leveled off.

Those are some of the findings from Jacobs Media’s Tech 7 survey. This year’s online survey contains material from approximately 20,000 listeners of rock stations, representing mostly classic rock, and also mainstream rock, alternative and AAA formats.

According to the Media Usage Pyramid, some 22% of respondents said they listened to Pandora every week.

The Pandora question in the survey is new, said Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs in a presentation to reporters Thursday. The debate over whether Pandora is “real” radio is immaterial, according to Jacobs. “Your audience is using it and enjoying it.” Radio ignores Pandora “at its own peril.”

However he also said when discovering new music, FM radio is still king, with 86% of respondents. HD Radio ownership is now at 6%, compared to 4% last year. Jacobs said while HD ownership continues to grow, “adoption still has a long way to go.”

At the same time, satellite radio subscribership continues to hover at 13% for the 4th consecutive year, leading Jacobs Media researchers to conclude satellite radio has been “leapfrogged by other technology.”

Facebook has reached critical mass, with three-fourths of respondents — 77% — saying they use the social network. A station’s website and e-mail database still matter, too, noted the researchers, who said they’re getting questions from clients asking whether the popularity of social networking sites have lessened the need to keep up station websites and e-mail databases in order to reach core listeners.

— Leslie Stimson