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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

Mark Ramsey: Consumers Don’t Seek FM in Cell Phones

In a blog post, Mark Ramsey looks into the FM in cell phones question more closely. The NAB has pushed for FM chips to be installed in all cell phones, citing consumer demand and practicality during emergencies. The NAB has also used the FM in cell phones ideas as a bargaining chip in the performance royalty debate.

Ramsey says the NAB is asking the wrong questions. He notes that surveys say consumers would use FM radio if it were built into their mobile phones. He says the surveys ignore that there are many phones on the market already that already have FM built in. Ramsey says the better question to ask is, “Have you ever used FM radio as a decision factor in the mobile phones you have purchased?”

Ramsey worked with VIP Research to ask a national sample of more than 1,000 radio listeners ages 10-54 whether they had ever specifically looked for a mobile phone that contains FM radio. 88 percent said no. 4 percent said yes. 8 percent said it does not apply.

Ramsey says FM radio is not a feature that motivates decision-making about which mobile phone to buy.

The next question: If you didn’t look for a phone containing an FM radio, why not? 83 percent said they wanted a particular phone regardless of whether or not it had an FM radio. 17 percent said they weren’t looking for a phone to be able to play radio.

For the group that wanted FM in the cell phone, the stats say 69 percent purchased a phone with FM, 28 percent purchased a phone without FM and 3 percent don’t know.

It seems FM in a cell phone is a nice idea, but it’s not being actively sought, nor is it a deciding factor.

Read Ramsey’s full report.

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