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Surprise! Radio Still Dominates Listenership

Posted by on December 2, 2009

I know everyone is telling you radio is dead, and the iPod and online radio and blah blah, but believe it or not, a shitload of people still listen to terrestrial radio. Overwhelmingly so.

A Nielsen study shows that 77 percent of adults are reached by AM/FM radio on a daily basis, while the Internet is only at 64 percent with newspapers and magazines trailing all the way behind at 35 percent and 27 percent, respectively (because we’ll listen to shitty old radio, but fuck reading). From FMQB:

Comparing terrestrial radio to other forms of audio, its 77 percent is more than twice the reach of CDs and tape players (37 percent). Satellite radio reaches just 15 percent of adults ages 18+, with iPods/MP3 players at 12 percent, MP3s stored on a computer at 10 percent and streaming audio online at nine percent. “Other audio” reaches 40 percent of adults. Terrestrial radio also dominates listening at home (46.4 percent of the time), at work (53.8 percent) and especially in the car (74.2 percent).

Here’s the thing. Radio is dying. Not necessarily in terms of demand for the medium, but the business is dying. It’s expensive to operate, and most stations are ineptly and inefficiently run on top of that, making them disastrous operations. It also doesn’t help when advertisers perceive it as a worthless medium and prefer the more cost-efficient and controllable advertising medium of the Internet, where you can quantifiably reach a much more specific audience.

So yeah, radio’s pretty fucked, but when someone says something like “NO ONE listens to radio anymore,” they’re just being silly.

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Categorised in: Radio