The New iPod Nano Gives Radio a Second Chance

I haven’t played around with it yet, but it seems Apple’s new iPod Nano could revitalize the FM Radio industry.  I know I love listening to CBC Radio 3, so I actually see a potential and not just the hype in the latest findings of how people feel about the new gadget.

According to the folks at Angus Reid and their Radio Research division of Vision Critical, an online survey of 823 Canadians aged 18 and older, with particular attention to how the 18-34 year-old set, concluded that the new interactive features of the FM tuner have energized interest in radio among younger consumers – the demographic known to be the prime users of mp3 players.

To start, the new features include the ability to pause and rewind songs they hear on the radio. 36 per cent of Canadians aged 18 and older say they are “very interested” in this feature.  This rises to 55 per cent among 18-34 year-olds. Another feature is to see the title of the songs that are being played through the Nano’s RDS display.  Also a big hit, as 39 per cent of Canadians and 58 per cent of 18-34 year-olds express an active interest in this feature. Tagging songs was not something many cared for, with only 20 per cent of Canadians aged 18 and older are “very interested” in this feature, but this increases to 33 per cent of 18-34 year olds.

Here are some more findings:

  1. Of the five features from the new Nano that were presented in the survey, Canadians rank an FM tuner #2 in terms of overall interest. Canadian adults in general show greater active interest in the new Nano’s larger display screen (with 32 per cent indicating they are “very” interested) than in an FM tuner.  However, an FM tuner is more interesting to Canadians than a video camera (23 per cent), a pedometer (17 per cent), and a voice recorder (13 per cent).
  2. Interest in and usage of mp3 players and the iPod Nano are highest among 18-34 year-olds.
  3. More than a quarter of 18-34 year-olds report listening “daily” to mp3s. This compares to only 13 per cent of Canadians aged 18 and older.
  4. 16 per cent of 18-34 year-olds say they currently use an iPod Nano, vs. 11 per cent of Canadian adults in general.

These findings are good news for radio stars wanting to get more air play time. The Nano should put FM radio in more places and in more hands. Overall 3,000 consumers in Canada, the US and the UK, between September 10 and 13, 2009 were surveyed.