Nearly 4 in 10 of "core radio listeners" stream Internet radio weekly, according to Jacobs Media's new Techsurvey8. "The high-tech revolution continues," notes the company, pointing out that nearly half of respondents can listen to their smartphones in cars, a quarter own a tablet and more than half begin their day with media and gadgets other than radio.
Jacobs Media says 45% of "streamies" listen to Pandora to some extent, compared to 19% for iHeartRadio, 7% for Spotify, 7% for TuneIn and 5% for Slacker. (Interestingly, 49% of Pandora users said they don't consider the service "radio"... a classification that apprently hasn't stopped them from using Pandora).
Additionally, nearly half of respondents said they can connect a smartphone or mp3 player to their car stereo. And 9% already own a web-friendly dashboard system like Ford's Sync. "The car is becoming a major battleground for radio," Jacobs Media writes.
They also point out that 57% of respondents start their day with media or gadgets other than radio (like TV, email, Facebook, newspapers or other websites). Indeed, 52% of respondents said they own a smartphone, 24% a tablet and 79% are on Facebook.
Among so much competition, why does AM/FM remain important in consumers' lives? According to respondents: "Favorite songs," local personalities, easy access to a radio at work, radio's mood-lifting abilities, a feeling of companionship and an "escape" from everyday life.
"The data from Techsurvey8 strongly suggest that focusing on connecting emotionally and meaningfully with listeners is radio's best avenue toward remaining relevant and vibrant in the face of new digital competition," said Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.
This is the 8th edition of Jacobs' annual tech study, but the first survey to include radio listeners of 12 different radio formats. In the past, Techsurveys were focused on rock radio listeners.
The results were presented at the recent Worldwide Radio Summit, where Fred Jacobs was named "Consultant of the Year" (more info here).