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Fred Jacobs' Tech Survey, Radio In The Year Of Covid

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Tech Survey has been an annual study by Jacobs Media since 2005. But 2021 will be one for the ages. Completed during a pandemic, Tech Survey 2021 tells the radio story of what happened to our radio listeners when Work from home, Zoom, masks, no travel, and a politically charged internet took hold. Originally, this was going to be a discussion about radio one year into the pandemic but how much better is that discussion with data?

In this episode, you'll learn how P1 radio listeners' habits changed in the pandemic, what in car listening looks like, and how the Consumer Electronic Show transpired online.

We also talked about the challenges of writing a daily blog in the pandemic, and feel free to register for the daily blog when you register for the webinar.. Participants of this year's Techsurvey, Radio in the Year of COVID, included 470 radio stations and over 42,000 core radio listeners. Access all the information and slides here.

While the popularity of music streaming services and podcasting is growing, Jacobs says there's still a market for radio stations with the right formula.

"When those shows over perform and really hold up the mirror to the local community and the vibe in their towns, I think that's when they hit home runs," says Jacobs.

Jacobs also shares his thoughts about the latest broadcasting and digital media trends at The Jacobs Media Strategies Blog.


"It's personality that continues to be proprietary and really radio's secret sauce," says Jacobs.

We also spoke about the CES and cars and the future of the dash. A major tech trend coming to the automotive sector are pillar-to-pillar displays. Wide computer screens will replace traditional dashboard instruments and gauges.

This tech advancement allows radio stations and content producers to enhance audience experience by incorporating visual elements (photography, video, text, and animation) with their broadcasts.

"Radio stations that are thinking visually are well down the path of being modern media outlets," says Jacobs. "How you look in a car is becoming as important as how you sound in the car."

Our host Matt purchased The Mercedes Benz A250 which comes equipped with a cool dash. The next model was showcased at CES and is a pillar-to-pillar dashboard.

A photograph of the dashboard of Mercedes A250.

Finally, we spoke about the future of the dash being a place where you can capture your listeners. If you are a podcast, make sure you are providing slick episode artwork. Recently I had a laugh in the car about someone at iHeart Radio whose typo showed up on my dash. All that to say: Metadata matters.


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