FM radio most desired feature for new iPods, study finds

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Southfield (MI) – It’s not more capacity or flashy colors rock music fans are interested in, a new study released by rock radio consultants Jacobs Media suggests: Instead, most iPod owners said that they want an integrated FM radio in their portable music player.

Sometimes, the answers to new product features are rather simple. If the results of the Jacobs Media survey among 25,000 listeners to 69 rock music radio stations are any indication, the Apple should complement the basic feature of its iPods rather than developing extravagant new high-tech features.

The study found that 43% of iPod owners (and 33% of owners of any MP3 player) would like to see the addition of an FM radio to their music player. While this result may not be surprising as the web survey was conducted specifically among listeners of certain radio stations, iPod owners appear to be pretty happy with what they already have: Only 18% would like to have more storage capacity, 7% would like a larger screen, 6% would like to play videos and 4% would like their iPod to be smaller.

23% of respondents said that they would like “none” or a different new feature for the iPod. No specifics about these answers were given, but we seriously hope that the addition of wireless capability was one of them.

At least in this survey, a saturation of MP3 player market seems to be in the distant future and growth is still accelerating. Only 21% of listeners had a MP3 player in 2005. That number grew to 35% in 2006 and has now reached 47%. Of the 53% who do not own an MP3 player, 45% said that they are likely to buy a portable music player in 2007. In the category of listeners to rock music radio stations, 57% of owners of an MP3 player said that they use an iPod.