Mark Kassof & Co. has released the results of a new study, looking at radio listeners opinions of the AM band. Kassof surveyed 412 Americans, ages 18-64, via telephone asking their thoughts on AM radio. When asked "What is the very first thing that pops into your mind when you think of AM radio?," 19 percent said Talk Shows, with 13 percent answering News/Weather/Traffic/Info and 10 percent saying Sports radio. However, ten percent said also answered "nothing" or "don't know" with nine percent saying they don't listen to AM radio.
Kassof adds that one percent of respondants named Rush Limbaugh specifically as the first thing that comes to mind with AM radio, while one percent also mentioned "conservative/right wing talk."
Also, 17 percent of respondants ages 18-24 answered "nothing" or "don't know," with one person sayng, "Something I don’t even know if my car has. I don’t even know if they have AM radio anymore." Surprisingly, the highest percentage of "don't listen" answers came in the 45-54 age range. Kassof notes, "They were teens in the ’70s, when FM really began to take over music formats. Perhaps more than any other group, AM is something they 'moved on' from, while younger listeners are more oblivious to AM than overtly rejecting it."
He concludes, "AM is effectively branded (intentionally or by default) as a place for talk, information and sports. This imagery is a “survival mode” for AM. But increasingly, that non-music programming is successfully shifting to FM. As that shift continues, AM’s 'franchise' on those services — its remaining raison d’etre — will be gone. Based on this research, many won’t even notice. Take away talk, news and sports. What does AM end up with??? Nothing."