If you want to evaluate just how valuable something is (or would be) to you, imagine it gone. Say you’re torn between two job offers. Which one would you feel worse about missing out on…that’s the one you really want more. So, how valuable is RADIO to listeners?

To find out, we took the “how much would you miss” approach in this year’s P1 study — an online survey of 1,289 18-64 radio listeners in the U.S., conducted September 8-9. Among many issues (which we’ll be reviewing in upcoming weeks), we asked:

How much would you miss FM radio if it were to go away and no longer be available to you?

More than 90% would miss FM, with nearly half missing it “a lot.” Only 7% would not miss it at all:

FM RADIO:
MISS A LOT 46%
MISS SOMEWHAT 29%
MISS A LITTLE 18%
NOT MISS AT ALL        .   7%
Don’t know   1%

Demographically, 45-54’s would miss FM most (55% a lot), 18-24’s least (31% a lot). But even among 18-24’s, only 13% would not miss FM at all. Women would miss FM a bit more than men…they’re at 48% “miss a lot” versus men’s 43%.

And from a format perspective, Country P1’s — those who name a Country station as the one they  “listen to most” — would miss FM most. Sixty-two percent of them would miss FM a lot, while a mere 2% wouldn’t miss it at all.

We asked the same question about AM radio, and it doesn’t fare nearly as well…half of 18-64 listeners would not miss it at all, while only 11% would miss it a lot:

AM RADIO:
MISS A LOT 11%
MISS SOMEWHAT 17%
MISS A LITTLE 18%
NOT MISS AT ALL        . 51%
Don’t know   2%

By far, News/Talk P1’s would miss AM most…32% would miss it a lot, 38% somewhat, and only 19% wouldn’t miss it at all. Also not surprisingly, they would miss FM least.

The findings for AM are predictable, but what we learned about FM is encouraging. Listeners’ responses to the hypothetical — How would you feel if FM went away? — tells us the hypothetical won’t become reality anytime soon.