You may have heard some people say that radio is dead. While it's true that we're in a digital age where smartphones rule the game, that doesn't mean the age of radio is far away. So you might be wondering: How many people listen to the radio?
In this post, we talk about the top radio audience stats you should know. This can give an indication of the popularity of radio even in the presence of other alternatives.
So let's dive in and find out the radio audience!
- The most important radio statistics you should know
- 1. Terrestrial radio listeners
- 2. Ways to listen to the radio
- 3. Weekly media reach
- 4. Weekly listeners by age
- 5. Main radio formats
- 6. Radio versus other audio sources
- 7. Broadcasting Revenue
- The importance of radio
- Trends in the radio industry
- frequently asked questions
The most important radio statistics you should know
If you're looking for interesting radio information, this is for you. Let's talk numbers and you'll find that people are still listening to the radio.
1. Terrestrial radio listeners
First, let's talk about the weekly viewer trend. 8 out of 10 Americans aged 12 and over listen to terrestrial radio in a week. This accounts for about 83% of the total population. Note, however, that this is based on 2020 data.
83% may sound like a lot, but there's a significant drop in radio listenership since previous years' numbers were 89% or higher. For example, the percentage of Americans listening to the radio reached 91% in 2015.
So how many people exactly listen to the radio? If you're looking for exact numbers, in 2020 the population of the US was 329.5 million people, which puts the number of citizens listening to the radio at about 273.5 million.
Even though the data is old, it's also a good idea to look at a Deloitte report from 2019. That report estimated that radio had about 3 billion weekly listeners worldwide.
2. Ways to listen to the radio
There are several ways to listen to the radio and one of the most popular is listening to podcasts.
As you can see in the chart below, the trend is up. Experts expect podcast audiences to grow to 464.7 million by 2023, a dramatic increase from 424.2 million in 2022 and 274.8 million in 2019.
Meanwhile, another report highlights valuable statistics on public radio podcast users. As of 2020, there are 14 million users of National Public Radio podcasts. This is an increase of 11.3 million from 2019 numbers. Public Radio Exchange, another popular source for podcasts, reported 8 million users in 2020.
3. Weekly media reach
When MTV came out, the first song that was on TV was "Video Killed The Radio Star" by the Buggles. Therefore, many can assume that this is indeed the case. Interestingly, if you look at the data, it's not necessarily true.
According to a 2022 report by MRI-Simmons Spring Connect, radio in the United States had an average adult reach of 91% (of which 53% was internet radio). This is followed by live and time-shifted television with a reach of 76% and social networks with a reach of 70%.
4. Weekly listeners by age
Now let's take a look at the demographics of radio. This is important as it can provide businesses and sellers with information on who to reach if they choose to advertise on radio.
As you can see in the graph below, radio reaches 92% of people aged 50-64. On the other hand, it only has 84% weekly reach among 18-34 year olds.
From here we can see which age group listens to the radio the most, namely the 50-64 year olds. However, listeners between the ages of 35 and 49 are not far behind.
5. Main radio formats
Now let's talk about the three main formats available. According to a Nielsen report, Country captured the crown among listeners aged 18+ in June 2022. With a share of around 13%, it took first place among the most popular radio formats.
For its part, News and Talk had a 12.7% share, not far from second place. Third place went to Contemporary Adult with 8.6% participation.
Meanwhile, a Statista report comes to a slightly different conclusion. According to a survey of 5,176 listeners from January to December 2022, these are the top genres.
If you're curious about music age demographics, you should also know that most teens listen to contemporary pop radio, while most adults listen to country music.
6. Radio versus other audio sources
Another important point is how the radio compares to other audio sources. For others, we're talking about podcasts and streaming platforms.
As you can see below, radio is a dominant force in the audio universe. It is the medium of choice for most people, reaching 93% of listeners over the age of 18. Second, it includes alternatives such as streaming services, satellites, etc.
So when you compare podcasts to radio stats, radio wins.
7. Broadcasting Revenue
Since we're already talking about key radio industry stats, let's also briefly touch on revenue. These numbers give you an idea of how relevant radio is even in today's modern times.
Experts predict that radio revenue will reach $35.33 billion by the end of 2023. Nevertheless, a slight decline in the annual growth rate of 0.18% is expected. So, revenue by 2027 could be $35.17 billion.
The importance of radio
As we continue to discuss the fun facts about radio, let's also delve into its importance, especially at a time when more modern alternatives are readily available and affordable.
- Its ability to reach a large group of listeners is one of the main things that makes radio so important today. Because of its cost-effectiveness, many people can listen to the radio, especially those living in poor areas.
- In addition, radio is also important because it is immediate. This is the go-to place for most people looking for instant information. You can hear the news in real time.
- Speaking of immediate, radio can also save lives. For example, they are available in battery-powered models that can provide vital information during disaster and rescue operations.
- In addition, radio is important because it is not only a platform for information, but also for entertainment and education. As such, it has become a part of everyday life for many people, as evidenced by its impressive radio audience over time.
Trends in the radio industry
One of the ongoing trends, among others, is digital. To avoid the decline in radio listeners, broadcasters need to know how to adapt to changing times. And one way they're doing that is by changing the way they present content to the public.
The key here is to create cross-platform content. That means there needs to be more ways to access radio broadcasts.
In addition, artificial intelligence can be a potential growth engine. Futuri recently launched RadioGPT, a revolutionary technology that can deliver localized content in formats suitable for specific audiences. It uses GPT-3 technology to create on-air scripts and other technologies will translate them into speech content.
frequently asked questions
What is the most listened to radio station in the United States?
The most popular radio station in the United States is WKBC-AM from North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. According to one report, it has 18 billion total views.
How many people listen to podcasts?
464.7 million people worldwide listen to podcasts. In the meantime, the number is expected to increase by up to 504.9 million people in 2024.
So how many people listen to the radio? Very much, as mentioned above. It could reach 3 billion people worldwide! From cars to homes, radio remains a popular medium and is far from dead.
do you still listen to the radio If yes, what is your favorite format and channel? Let us know what you think in the comment below.
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Hello, I'm Amaro Frank, writer and editor for Wind Up Radio. Working with Adam is great fun as his stories and experiences enrich my knowledge of radio communications and radio accessories. My main job at Wind Up Radio is creating content and generating great articles on various radio accessory topics.