Personalities Are Primary Reason for Listening to AM/FM Radio

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Jun 20
Side profile of a woman inside a studio sitting in front of a microphone.

We recently published an article on the connection between podcast hosts and their listeners. Now, a new study by Jacobs Media reveals that the same connection exists between radio personalities and their audiences.


Jacobs Media surveyed 30,011 AM/FM radio listeners in the US in January/February 2023. Sixty percent of respondents said “DJs/hosts/shows” are the main reason they listen to AM/FM radio. Sixty-four percent of listeners said they would follow their favorite DJs to another station if they moved.

According to Pam Wolfgram, Senior Media Buyer at SMI, the survey’s findings are something experts at SMI have long known. “The relationship between listeners and Local personalities has always been an important one,” Wolfgram said, “which is why Endorsed Radio advertising and even simulated live reads for Produced Radio have always been wildly profitable for advertisers. Podcast hosts fall into the same ‘personal connection’ category, making podcasting equally appealing for advertisers.” 


Just as podcast audiences are proven to be engaged while listening to podcast ads, so too are radio listeners when radio personalities read ads. In fact, 53% of radio listeners said they pay more attention when their favorite DJ reads an ad. 

The survey found that 52% of radio listeners consider their favorite DJs and hosts to be like friends or family. That sense of affinity and trust is beneficial for radio advertisers.

“If word of mouth is truly the best advertising,” said SMI Copywriter Payne Ratner, “that ‘word’ from someone you have followed, and to some degree, known and liked, even loved, is the most potent ‘word’ of all.”

Want to find out how you can grow your brand on AM/FM radio? Talk to SMI’s radio experts today.

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