Industry News

Techsurvey 2024: Listeners’ Views on AI in Radio

Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2024 surveyed more than 31,000 core radio listeners to gather their opinions about the use of AI by radio stations. President Fred Jacobs says, “Many radio companies have jumped on the AI bandwagon but with little guidance from their audience. This exclusive data from Techsurvey 2024 provides valuable feedback from partisans of 10 popular radio formats about their hopes and for now at least, fears of AI.” Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed were familiar with AI and of those, nearly one in ten (9%) uses its applications for personal, work, or school. Gen Z and Millennialim respondents are most likely to say they use it at least weekly. There’s a strong feeling the government will need to step in to provide legal guard rails for AI use. Three in four (75%) are looking for some form of regulation. In fact, more than a third (36%) believe AI will need to be highly regulated. That perception may be fueled by the upcoming elections this November. About half (51%) say they’re very concerned about how AI might affect this fall’s political races. Members of the Greatest Generation and Boomers are most fearful of how the technology might influence upcoming elections. When it comes to three applications for radio – AI hosts, AI-voiced commercials, and AI-voiced station IDs – the biggest pushback predictably is directed at the idea of radio using cloned voices to take the place of live talent. Three in four (75%) raise the red flag over this AI application. Concern lessens when it comes to AI voice technology being used to read commercials. Still, nearly four in ten (39%) say they have big issues with radio stations they listen to using AI in ads. Respondents are most open to the idea of AI voices being utilized on station identification. Overall, about one-third (34%) have no problem, but a similar sized group (30%) expresses major concerns with this use case for AI. Jacobs Media general manager Paul Jacobs remarks, “It is still early days for AI in radio, but broadcasters need to respect the many concerns voiced by core fans of the medium. Up to now, many decisions have been made in a vacuum. Now the audience has a voice. We’ll be tracking their perceptions in Techsurveys in the coming years as the technology matures. The format level data for AI should provide welcome feedback for radio managers trying to get a handle on AI.”