Loving Radio’s Portability

Part 1 Of Insights Series Based On Edison Research Collaboration

Edison Research partnered last year with NextRadio to conduct a study that asks listeners about their relationship with radio, and how it is evolving.

Over 2,000 adult smartphone users recruited through the NextRadio database who opted into receiving updates on NextRadio phone compatibility, contests, or the company’s blog took part.

Out of this survey came three key themes about why radio is such a loved medium: its portability, its importance in the community, and its ability to make connections. Today profiles listeners’ love of radio portability!


Radio is the first mobile medium, available to consumers via the Walkman, the boombox, and in-vehicle listening. Respondents to the NextRadio/Edison Research survey gave a nod to their love of radio portability:

  • 90% of audio-listening respondents said they listen to traditional FM radio in the car,
  • and 91% of FM radio listener respondents said they stayed in the car longer to continue listening to a show or program.

While in-car listening is great, portability goes beyond the vehicle – and the key device today is the smartphone.

Many factors are already in place for this next generation of portability. First of all is streaming: 63% of respondents said they stream FM radio and 61% indicated they listen to Internet-only radio. However, to fully leverage smartphone listening, consumer concerns about data plans and battery life should be addressed.

Mobile Data Plan Use Concerns

Concerns about app drain on battery

One portability solution: The FM chip in a smartphone enables FM radio listening without streaming or using a data plan.  Every smartphone has one, it just might not be activated. To check the list of supported devices that have the FM chip activated go here.