So far this week, we’ve seen that Millennials’ attitude toward FM radio is quite positive. Their attitude toward AM — not nearly as positive — at least isn’t negative. All in all, our research on Millennials reveals that their attitude toward traditional radio is much better than “doomsayers” think it is.

But radio is no longer the “center of the audio universe”…it faces numerous challengers. In last week’s online research among Millennials, we studied four of them — iHeartRadio,  iTunes Radio, Pandora and Sirius/XM…

At the top: Pandora…39% of Millennials “love it,” edging FM’s 37%. Pandora does have a higher percentage that don’t know (10% versus FM’s 1%) but then, FM has a many-decades  “head start”! Given its lower awareness, the fact that four in ten Millenials love Pandora is very impressive:

How do you feel about Pandora?            .
LOVE IT 39%
LIKE IT 26%
DISLIKE IT   5%
HATE IT   1%
Neither like nor dislike it 19%
Don’t know 10%

Next up: Sirius/XM. Even though it, too, has a head start over Pandora, it has a higher don’t know percentage…understandable, since it requires a paid subscription (or a new car):

How do you feel about Sirius/XM?         .
LOVE IT 26%
LIKE IT 22%
DISLIKE IT   5%
HATE IT   1%
Neither like nor dislike it 27%
Don’t know 19%

iHeartRadio and iTunes Radio score almost identically.  That iTunes Radio performs as well as iHeart — which has been around longer — seems impressive.  But it just may be that some respondents aren’t distinguishing betwen iTunes Radio (which is new) and iTunes (which isn’t):

How do you feel about iHeartRadio?     .
LOVE IT 19%
LIKE IT 22%
DISLIKE IT   4%
HATE IT   2%
Neither like nor dislike it 32%
Don’t know 21%

 

How do you feel about iTunes Radio?   .
LOVE IT 18%
LIKE IT 24%
DISLIKE IT   6%
HATE IT   3%
Neither like nor dislike it 31%
Don’t know 18%

Given that these challengers have different levels of awareness, how do we compare their scores, with each other and with FM and AM? We do it with mean (average) scores. Here are the means of each kind of “radio” we tested among those who “know” (that is, excluding the “don’t know” responses). Those who are neutral are included in the mean at the midpoint — in this case, 3…between “love” (5) and “hate”(1):

HATE  1———3———5 LOVE   .
How do you feel about…          . 
FM Radio 4.1
Pandora 4.1
Sirius/XM 3.8
iHeartRadio 3.7
iTunes Radio 3.6
AM Radio 3.1

What this tells us is:  Millennials feel just as positively, on average, about Pandora as FM. Whether you see this as good news or bad news depends on your perspective… If you (like me) are a “radio veteran” who can’t possibly see how Pandora could compare to “real” radio, it hopefully makes you (and me) sit up and realize that Pandora is a serious challenger.

On the other hand, if you’re a Millennial yourself, you just might think: “Yeah, what did you expect???