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TUNING IN

A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Latest Word on Radio Usage in the Digital Age

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So, you, along with everyone else in the new media world thought radio might be  slipping into oblivion, didn’t you?  Actually, the latest facts tell a different story. According to new national survey from Arbitron Inc. and Edison ResearchThe Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms,shows that radio is alive and well and growing. Whether it’s online or broadcast radio, most Americans are indeed tuning in to listen to their favorite talk show or top music countdown.

Radio listenership remains strong with weekly online raarbitron-inc-logodio listeners report listening for an average of almost 12 hours per week, up more than two hours from the previous year. Listeners who prefer to turn the dial with AM/FM Radio have grown to 243 million weekly listeners (up from X listeners?), listening for about two hours a day.

Although other digital platforms are growing faster than we
can type 140 characters, they do are not replacing media usage, they enhancing it. Researchers find the total time spent surfing the Internet, watching TV or using other media does not affect the usage of radio because media consumption is not a zero sum game. Just because one area of media usage is growing doesn’t mean that other mediums are losing ground, since usage of all media continues to grow.  The bottom line is we are multi-tasking more than ever, and that extends to our media use.Edison

We are all guilty of spending a little too much time checking emails or updating our status on our smartphones. In fact, nearly half of cell phone owners reported always having their phone within arm’s length. Rather than a rival, the smartphone is morning radio’s greatest opportunity. A clear, brand-focused app strategy can help ensure individual radio stations don’t  get lost; rather, stations can encourage listeners to wake up to their station on their phone. “In the smartphone, the majority of Americans now have powerful computers in their pockets, which has irrevocably altered not only out-of-home listening behavior, but out-of-home purchase behavior as well,” said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research.

Other digital media platforms may be creeping up, but radio still continues to dominate certain niches. Broadcast radio rules the road of in-car entertainment, and is the strongest medium in the half hour before consumers arrive to shop. Seventy-eight percent of those who say it is important to keep up-to-date with current music use AM/FM Radio as a resource for new music discovery. Online and broadcast radio are very much alive and continue to strengthen radio brands, persisting in this digital age to be an engaging and frequently used media outlet.

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