This year’s annual survey – with more than 22,000 public radio listeners from 53 participating stations – continues to chart the evolution of the public media landscape and the impact of technology on the listening environment

In partnership with the Public Radio Program Directors Association, Jacobs Media has released PRTS 2018, its latest annual study exploring the ongoing digital media revolution and its impact on public radio. The study takes a continued look at the ever-changing media consumption behaviors of public radio listeners.

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs comments, “This 10th annual survey tells a number of compelling stories about the public radio audience – their relationship to their favorite stations, and the impact of new technology and platforms on their media habits.”

Jody Evans, president of PRPD, adds, “PRTS 2018 is the only study of its kind in public radio, providing guidance for programmers, managers, and other stakeholders. There are some surprises in this year’s study, as well as trending data that reveals public radio is on the right track.”

Here are some of the highlights from Public Radio Techsurvey 2018:
 The power of voice – Ownership of smart speakers has risen sharply, up to 20% from 12% one year ago. One-fifth of smart speaker owners say they are listening to AM/FM radio stations more since getting the device.
 Podcasts remains robust – Given public radio’s dominance in the space, it’s not surprising that more than one-third (35%) listen to podcasts/on-demand audio weekly or more often, led in large part by Millennials (68%) and News/Talk partisans (40%).
 The “Trump Bump” and so-called “fake news” – The 2016 election continues to be a catalyst to increased public radio listening, with nearly four in ten (37%) who say they are listening to public radio more in the past year saying it is a main reason. About three-fourths (74%) agree they are looking at sources of news articles more closely due to so-called “fake news.”

PRTS 2018 data was gathered online from May 7-May 29, 2018. Overall, 53 public radio stations across the U.S. participated, contributing 22,552 respondents, most of whom are members of these stations’ databases.

Download the study HERE