It looks like Stern’s move to Sirius was a success for him and the satcaster, at least according to Billboard Radio Monitor’s read on the results of a Jacobs Media survey of 25,000 respondents from over 75 rock-formatted stations.
The good news for terrestrial radio is that three-fourths of Stern’s “regular listeners” stuck with commercial radio morning shows. As the Jacobs Media analysis says, this indicated that “once the Arbitron ratings settle down, several AM/FM morning teams and DJs will grow their audience bases in [Stern’s] wake.”
The other good news for terrestrial radio is that 42% of Stern’s regular listeners stayed tuned into the station on which Stern had aired; another 29% said they now listen to a different show.
Also, Jacobs Media points out, “The biggest winners appear to be many of Stern’s former FM competitors around the country.” About 46% of those individuals who considered themselves “regular listeners” to Stern but who now tune into a former competitor station have stayed with that competitor.
Jacobs Media reports that 19% of those individuals who described themselves as “regular listeners” to Stern bought a Sirius subscription, while another 9% said they were “going to buy Sirius.” That’s 28% of Stern’s regular listeners. The only question remaining: How many people is that, really?
Various numbers have been cited as a tally of Stern’s audience but those numbers have usually been cumulative figures, or numbers that appeared inflated to incorporate anyone who ever saw a Stern movie or read one of Stern’s books.
In fact, Stern’s “break even” or threshold total has been set as low as 1 million subscribers by some Wall Street analysts and other industry observers. Based on the Jacobs Media study, if Stern’s actual, regular listenership was at or above 4 million people, then 28% of those people would be 1.12 million.