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Alternative Fares Poorly in 2022 Jacobs Media Tech Survey

The data confirms the ratings: Even fans of Alternative don’t like Alt radio…

By Paul Marszalek
TheTop22.com

Poor ratings have been the primary indicator that the Alternative Rock Radio format is not connecting with audiences.

But if you need another opinion, you can look to the 2022 Jacobs Media Tech Survey.

With survey respondents coming from stations’ own databases, results aren’t coming from a statistical market sample, but rather superfans of the participating radio station.

So as one interprets the data, it is key to remember that these are Alternative Rock Radio fans responding to questions about their primary radio station.

Using something called a Net Promoter Score, Jacobs asked fans of the various radio formats how likely they were to recommend their primary radio station to a friend. Christian, Public Radio, Triple A, and Urban AC scored best.

Alternative was dead last, posting a 27. This is actually down from a score of 38 in the 2021 survey.

In the Net Promoter Score scale, individuals who score with a 9 or 10 are considered promoters, 7 or 8 are considered passives, and 6 or below are viewed as detractors. NPS is determined by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. While any NPS above zero is good news, Alternative’s relative performance to other formats is concerning.

Jacobs Media also asked respondents whether or not their primary station was their first choice when they were in the mood to hear the type of content aired by their primary station. In other words, if you were interested in sports, would your local sports station be your first choice?

Turns out, yes, sports actually scored best among formats, with Triple A, Urban AC, Country, and Classic Hits following.

Again, Alternative scored poorest among all formats.

In the above graph, only 56% of Alternative fans would make their primary station their first choice when seeking Alternative music.

Related to the above, Alternative fans are the most likely to first choose a streaming provider for Alternative music over their primary radio station.

20% of Alternative fans first choose a DSP over their primary radio station. It’s worth considering that this high number could be affected by the comparatively younger audience when compared to other formats. Regardless, radio needs to better compete with digital options.

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