In partnership with the Public Radio Program Directors Association, Bingham Farms-based Jacobs Media has released Public Radio Techsurvey 2021 (“PRTS”), its latest annual study exploring the ongoing digital media revolution and its impact on public radio. In last year’s PRTS study, there was a dramatic shift in listening patterns due to the pandemic and summer 2020’s politically and socially charged environment. In PRTS 2021, we examine how a path to “normal” through the pandemic and a new political administration have impacted the behaviors and attitudes of Public Radio’s core listeners.
About one in three study respondents (34%) says they are following the news less closely now since the 2020 Election. Nearly one in five (19%) says they are listening to more Public Radio now than a year ago. But in 2020, Public Radio momentum was greater thanks to a news cycle on COVID and political steroids.
Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs notes, “This year’s Public Radio Techsurvey, our 13th study of core Public Radio listeners, follows up the impactful shifts we saw in last year’s listening behaviors. The research covers media usage patterns returning to pre-COVID levels, as well as those that appear to have permanently shifted thanks to the pandemic.”
Abby Goldstein, president of PRPD comments, “Looking beyond the extreme obstacles 2020 brought to the Public Radio ecosystem, this year’s PRTS study reveals insights into the opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead for the rest of this year…and beyond, as programmers and managers seek actionable information to help stations meet the audience where they are.”
PRTS 2021 data was gathered online from June 25-July 25, 2021. Overall, 56 public radio stations across the U.S. participated, contributing 22,858 respondents, most of whom are members of these stations’ databases and are core listeners to Public Radio.
Download a PDF of the study and watch a recording of the webinar here: https://jacobsmedia.com/prts-2021-results/