Today's total audio entertainment environment: how do consumers perceive their options?

Barbara C. O'Hare
Methods Development and Evaluation, Arbitron Inc., United States

Fred Jacobs
Jacobs Media, United States


This paper addresses the key issue of how consumers, particularly young adults, perceive new audio entertainment options. It provides insight into how listeners choose their entertainment sources, the language they use to describe these choices, and how media measurement needs to adjust to accommodate these changes. The authors review findings of a set of young adult focus groups and in-home ethnographic interviews and present results of a field experiment testing revision to the Arbitron radio diary to capture new audio sources.


Rapid changes in the overall media environment have created many challenges for audience researchers. Among the most interesting research questions are those that deal with how consumers perceive new media delivery systems that seem to proliferate daily. For example, “newspapers” and other print content are available on the Web, and can also be accessed through PCs, PDAs and mobile phones; podcasts and live feeds of radio and TV programs can be accessed via the Web and many portable devices; broadcast radio now competes with Internet and satellite radio.