Study: Streaming tops HD Radio, Social Media and Mobile as the Technology Public Radio Stations Are Using to Generate Revenue

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In a recent survey sponsored by Wheatstone Corporation, public radio engineers picked streaming as the technology they felt most motivated listeners to participate in fundraising drives.

From a list of 14 technologies, 39.6% of respondents picked “streaming our station’s signal” as the one that would most encourage listeners to make donations. The second most popular technology was “streaming multiple channels of programming,” chosen by 18.9% of respondents. After streaming, responses for the next technology choices fell into the single digits: Facebook fan page, 6.3%; ‘Donate now’ button on mobile app, 5.4%; and broadcasting more than one channel of HD Radio, 5.4%.    

Survey respondents also felt that streaming provided the best channels (besides the station’s main signal), for selling sponsorships, as indicated by their choices from the same list of 14 technologies. Their top three choices were: Streaming a signal over the Internet, 37.7%; streaming multiple channels of programming, 17.0%; and on demand content streaming, 11.3%.

As with the fundraising question, respondents’ preferences for selling sponsorships using technology options other than streaming fell to the single digits: broadcasting in HD radio, 9.4%; local community events blog, 8.5%; and broadcasting more than one channel of HD radio, 5.7%.

In other findings from the study:
65.2% of respondents felt that streaming their signal currently reaches enough listeners to help with fundraising, while another 17.9% feel that this will be true “within three years.”

37.2% of respondents also felt that streaming their signal now reaches enough listeners to help with selling sponsorships, while another 31% thought this will be the case “within three years.”

According to respondents, the top technology trends that will impact public radio stations three years from now are: “more automation,” 80.9%; “more audio consoles will be networked together,” 79.1%; and “networks with no single point of failure will be more important,” 78.3%.

When asked which technologies their stations were planning to implement next, mobile apps were respondents’ top two choices, with 19% planning to implement a “Donate Now” button on a mobile app, and 18% planning on “providing radio signal via mobile phone app.”

"Revenue Generating Public Radio Technologies: A Progress Report" was conducted by Alethea Research and sponsored by Wheatstone Corporation. Download a FREE copy at

Scott Johnson Wheatstone Corporation
(252) 638-7000


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Scott Johnson
Wheatstone Corporation
(252) 638-7000
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