It's Not Just for FM Anymore
This is an important lesson. Using more public radio content, even if not on their favorite station, has a positive impact on giving to that station.
This shouldn't be a surprise. Past studies have shown that the more listeners use public radio, even when using more than one station, the more likely they are to donate.
Listeners' conception of what public radio is today has changed. It's much broader than the industry's conception of itself.
Public radio is radio plus podcasts plus streaming plus printed information on the web. It is a local station plus NPR.org plus the This American Life site plus whatever.
Live in Baltimore and want to hear All Thing Considered at 8pm? Stream KPBS. You still wake up and drive to work listening to Morning Edition on WYPR and catch Diane Rehm during the day. If you miss Wait Wait Don't Tell Me at 11a on Saturday, you can still hear it over the weekend at your convenience on your computer or iPod. And you still donate to WYPR.
A public radio station's path to better audience service and greater financial security doesn't begin with hoping listeners won't use public radio on the web or through a podcast. It begins with great programming and an understanding of how listeners now conceive public radio.
It's not just for FM anymore.
* You can see some of the survey results beginning on page 24 of the BOPR 2008 project report.