Mobile use accelerating among public radio listeners in PRTS5

By Ben Mook

Public radio listeners increasingly like music and news to go, according to findings of the fifth annual Public Radio Technology Survey (PRTS5), which shows the growing adoption of mobile devices among a sampling of listeners and donors.

Conducted by Jacobs Media and Public Radio Program Directors, the study tracks pubradio listeners’ use of media technology and electronic gadgets. The web-based study queried listeners from 56 stations across the country.

Among the most dramatic changes this year was the growth in listeners’ usage of tablets such as Apple’s iPad. Nearly half of those surveyed use a tablet to access content, a 63 percent jump from last year. Smartphone use also increased, as did the number of people listening via “digital dashboards” in their cars. The survey found 62 percent of those listeners with digital dashboards use smartphones to access content, while 51 percent used their car’s sound system to play music from their phone or MP3 player.

Satellite radio enjoyed a boost in usage by pubradio listeners, with 16 percent of respondents saying they used the service, a 14 percent increase from the previous year. Usage of HD Radio grew 9 percent among those surveyed, a small percentage overall, but it amounted to a 52 percent increase from PRTS4.

The survey found 73 percent of listeners using social media. Most of them — 73 percent — are on Facebook, a 4 percent increase from the previous year. Twitter use jumped to 21 percent, an 18 percent increase.

Questions, comments, tips? mook@current.org
This article was first published in Current, Sept. 9, 2013

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