Techsurvey 11: News/Talk Profile | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Techsurvey 11: News/Talk Profile

| April 29, 2015

Fred Jacobs
Jacobs Media


jacobsfredwriterBINGHAM FARMS, MI — In this year’s Techsurvey, conducted in January/February, 2015, more than 200 stakeholder radio stations across North America contributed 41,600+ respondents, making it the largest study of its kind in broadcasting.

TS11 is web-based, comprised mostly of members of email databases.  Pareto’s Principle – known as “The 80:20 Rule” – states that 20% of a population contributes 80% of the results.  This basic relationship holds up well in sales, as well as in the ratings.  And in this survey, you’re looking at “The 20%.”

Overall, nearly 5,000 weighted surveys make up the news/talk sample, generated by a base of 24 diverse stations.techsurvey1bigger

The results are a treasure trove of findings that can help better inform programmers in the format.  Our first chart (above) is the Media Usage Pyramid that graphically shows how news/talk fans interact with the media and gadgets around them.  The band column on the right hand side represents the totals for the entire sample.


Fans of the format are more likely to own a tablet, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to satellite radio.  They are less apt to be social networkers.  techsurvey2biggerCompared to just a few short years ago, news/talk devotees are catching up tech-wise with their kids.  The data show that six in 10 stream video at least weekly  while nearly eight in 10 own a smartphone.

This year, we introduced a second pyramid, focused on specific brands and platforms to help programmers better understand their unique audiences and where they spend their time.  Here it is (above) for news/talk fans:

By brands, more than six in 10 use Facebook weekly, while nearly one-fifth go to Twitter with that frequency.  Notably, more than four in ten watch videos on YouTube each week, while more than one-fourth access Netflix just as often.  This underscores the power and attraction of video to these information-based radio listeners.

The NPS score of 34 on both pyramids stands for Net Promoter Score, a recommendation measure for brands.  It’s an indicator of the likelihood that listeners will recommend stations to friends, family, members and co-workers.  For the entire sample, the NPS is 44, so the news/talk format lags behind in this dimension.techsurvey3bigger

So with all these digital and new media distractions, why do news/talk fans continue to listen to AM/FM radio stations (see chart above)?

It’s all about feeding the information beast.  Overall, more than eight in ten listen to broadcast radio for the basics – news, weather, and traffic.  But local news and information play a major role, designated as a main reason to listen by AM/FM radio by nearly two-thirds of these respondents.  Talk shows and host are major factors, too, cited by six in ten survey takers.

techsurvey4biggerFinally, what social sites matter?  On the chart above, the left-hand side represents social media platforms on which news/talk fan have signed up (among those with a social media profile).  On the right, it’s about daily use of these sites.

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the big winner, but LinkedIn is a very strong second in overall sign-ups.  By daily regularity, it’s all about Facebook where more than six in ten log on at least daily.  Note that Facebook Messenger and Twitter come in second and third respectively for everyday usage.


There’s more data in Techsurvey11, and the chance for stations to participate next year and receive their discreet local data.   For questions, contact Fred Jacobs – and/or go to


Fred Jacobs is president of Jacobs Media. 

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Category: Features