In the first part of our listener satisfaction research, we learned that the overwhelming majority of 18-64’s are, at minimum, mostly satisfied with their “P1” station — the one they listen to most. Nearly half are “100% satisfied” with it! But how satisfied are listeners with radio overall??? We asked them that, too…

Based on 649 telephone interviews with 18-64 radio listeners in the U.S., conducted from February 1-5, here’s what we learned…

One-third (34%) rate their satisfaction “five” on a five-point scale, representing “100% satisfied.” An additional 33% are mostly satisfied, rating their satisfaction “four.” Overall listener satisfaction averages 3.7 on our five-point scale…significantly lower than their P1 station, but still solidly on the “satisfied” side:

P1 Station Radio Overall
2:  2% 10%
3: 14% 24%
4: 33% 26%
5: 100% SATISFIED 48% 34%
Don’t know  2%  1%
AVERAGE: 4.3 3.7


Among major formats’ P1’s, Country and Urban P1’s are notably more satisfied with radio than listeners as a whole. More than half of Urban P1’s are 100% satisfied with radio!

How satisfied are you with radio overall? C’ntry P1’s Urban P1’s
2:  7%  4%
3: 21% 13%
4: 27% 26%
5: 100% SATISFIED 44% 55%
Don’t know  0%  0%
AVERAGE: 4.1 4.3

Urban P1’s are especially interesting because 44% of them are 100% satisfied with their P1 station…essentially average. So what they’re saying as a group is: I’m more satisfied with radio in general than the station I listen to most! (Interesting, but I don’t have an explanation for it…if you do, I’d love to hear it!)

Among major formats, the listeners who have below-average satisfaction with radio overall are Rock and Public Radio P1’s. I find the Public Radio P1’s amusing, because they rated their station above average in satisfaction. So what they’re saying as a group is: I don’t think much of radio, but MY station’s great! (Unlike the Urban P1’s, I understand these listeners perfectly, even though I’m not one of them, because I’m surrounded by them… I live in Ann Arbor!)

But beyond the interesting aspects of this research, what does it all mean?

It’s tough to assess, because we don’t have a point of comparison…for example, with a decade ago, or the pre-consolidation era. But my personal conclusion is that radio is doing a good job satisfying listeners, overall. And I suspect that people in the industry are harder on radio than listeners are.

Maybe we’ll research that in a future ListenerThink study.