Jacobs: Radio Needs More NTR, Less Spots


Jacobs-Tech-SurveyThe “secret sauce” that AM/FM radio brings to the table that other audio sources like pureplay streamers do not are attributes like companionship and mood elevation.

However the industry needs to consider its heavy spot-load, and younger listeners lessening reliance on radio to wake-up.

So said Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs in a Webinar Thursday detailing highlights from the company’s Tech12 survey.

“People don’t really listen to hear commercial-free hours at 9, 2 and 5. They listen to be informed and re-energized,” said Jacobs.

Podcasting really is the next big thing for radio as those who have connected TVs view more programming on-demand and expect to do that with their audio sources as well.

As far as the spot-load issue, when they asked respondents whether they were listening to AM/FM more, the answer was a resounding yes by a 2 to 1 margin. Of the 10% who said no, the answer was lifestyle changes, including a job change, which meant a commuting change or retirement. Too many spots came in second. Millennials who said they don’t listen as much said the music was too repetitive.

Jacobs encouraged station owners to seek out non-spot revenue, saying the results “speak to the need to reduce inventory and ultimately charge higher rates.”

Finally, while 65% of respondents still listen to radio traffic reports, when asked about their primary way to wake up its clear the smartphone is gaining momentum at 41%. That’s why the company encourages stations to make sure there’s an alarm feature on their station app.