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Techsurvey 2024 Highlights Radio’s Resilience, Impact of Localism

Women and younger listeners feel especially connected to radio

On Thursday, Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media presented the findings of the 20th annual Techsurvey. This year’s study, dubbed “Radio in the AI Era,” evaluated the current media and radio environment by examining the “in-car rebound,” the impact of artificial intelligence and how to build on radio’s local advantage.

The data set was compiled by 500 participating radio stations, yielding more than 31,000 surveys from “core radio listeners.” During the presentation, Jacobs said it’s important to note that these respondents are not representative of all of commercial radio listeners, as the surveys were sent to those already part of a station’s email database. Survey responses were collected between Jan. 9–Feb. 11 and used Nielsen’s 2023 market population data.

During the presentation, one of the first takeaways highlighted radio’s resiliency in a changing media landscape.

“Radio is holding its own,” said Jacobs via presentation slides. “Techsurvey 2024 shows both resilience and areas where broadcasters need to make improvement. The vital signs are hanging in.”

As always, the survey inquired to why listeners chose radio over other music/media outlets. Per the information gathered from core radio listeners this year, approximately 67% of respondents said they choose AM/FM because it is easy to listen to in the car and free.

Credit: Jacobs Media

When respondents were asked whether or not they “feel a sense of connection” to the participating station that sent them the survey, women and younger radio fans were especially likely to “strongly agree.” Overall, 42% of respondents said they strongly agree — the same as last year.

When asked why they choose AM/FM, nearly four in 10 respondents “cite the local vibe,” per Jacobs Media findings, which you can see highlighted in green below.

Credit: Jacobs Media

Jacobs said now, more than ever, radio’s “local edge” is seen as a key advantage, with 57% of respondents strongly agreeing with the sentiment. This is a lasting and growing perception, with this year’s numbers keeping pace with 2023’s Techsurvey, which highlighted listening in the “post-pandemic era.”

Credit: Jacobs Media

Radio World will continue to break down these findings in the coming days.  

[Related: “Techsurvey Finds Core Listeners Opposed to AI Voices“]