Satellite Radio Latest Target Of Biased Surveys

from the fun-with-numbers dept

Standing right next to astroturfing in the corporate PR shenanigans lineup is the good old biased survey. A brother of the biased report, it follows a similar MO: identify an issue that could make (or cost) you some money, craft a survey, then word the results to make it look like people support your position. Satellite radio is the latest target, with a new survey saying that 86 percent of people aren’t likely to buy satellite radio because of Howard Stern’s move to it from terrestrial radio. Orbitcast points out who conducted the survey: a company that makes its money from broadcast radio stations. Little surprise, then, that it’s going to want to downplay the threat of satellite radio. Of course, look at the flip side of their stats: 82 percent of people said they’re not likely to purchase equipment and pay a monthly fee to listen to satellite radio. That means that 18 percent, or about 50 million Americans are, apparently — a number that would suit XM and Sirius just fine. See how fun and easy it is to manipulate surveys and statistics?

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Comments on “Satellite Radio Latest Target Of Biased Surveys”

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WeeBit (user link) says:

Biased Surveys

I don’t pay much attention to surveys that are put together by the companys that have a lot to gain by outcomes that favor them. Microsoft has done these surveys in the past also. If anything they are a waste of time and money to try to prove a point that always is biased regardless. The outcome always comes out in their favor. I don’t think the public is this dumb. Are they? Anyone with a bit of common sense can see that the survey is not unbiased.

Von Aras says:


There are 35+ million seniors in the US who probably won’t be switching to satellite radio. There is also 60 million+ children under age 14 who won’t be purchasing satellite radio anytime soon.

Neither group was figured in as “consumers” for the purpose of this survey.

If a quarter of your 18% base actually follow through and write the check for the satellite radio (a generous proposal) then that gives you about …

… 9 million total subscribers.

Not exactly “50-million”.

John says:

Re: 50-million?

Not exactly “50-million”.

Uh, hello? Wasn’t that Carlo’s point? That you can make anything sound good or bad depending on how you present the stats. He wasn’t saying 50 million people. He was proving that it’s all silly no matter how you look at it… and yet you jump all over him…

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