Radio: Double Digit Growth and the Youth Demographic

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childHere is more verification of the fact that young listeners still use radio as their medium of choice, and by a large margin too! The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), funded by The Nielsen Company, recently released the results of their Video Consumer Mapping Study. Despite the fact that the study’s focus was TV, there is still a goldmine of info pertinent to the world of radio.

Radio Business Report (RBR) brings us a summation:

“What you find is a much more complex view of what’s going on with audio than we have been led to believe. It really seems like the young group – they tend to be more audiophiles. They’re really into their audio. So, it’s not that they abandoned radio, per se, but they essentially augment with some of these portable media/digital media devices,”[Michael] Link [Chief Methodologist at The Nielsen Company] told RBR-TVBR.

Up until now, there was no differentiation made between media usage of the Internet and the time spent using other software or email. As any modern computer user knows, there is a gulf of difference between the two.

To break it into simplest terms, here are the four tiers of audio media usage as determined by Mr. Link’s analysis of the study’s data:

  1. broadcast & satellite radio (79.1% daily reach);
  2. CDs and tapes (37.1% daily reach);
  3. portable audio [iPods/MP3 players] ( 11.6% daily reach), digital audio stored on a computer such as music files downloaded or transferred to and played on a computer (10.4% daily reach), and digital audio streamed on a computer (9.3% daily reach);
  4. audio on mobile phones (<2% daily reach).

Wow. Radio has a 67.5 % lead over iPods and MP3 players? I can see that. About 75% of the time I listen to music on my iPhone, I’m streaming a station rather than listening to a music file. This gets really interesting when you look at the projections made in another RBR/RBTV piece:

According to updated projections from SNL Kagan released Monday (Nov. 2), radio online revenue will grow by double digits this year to $441 million, a 12 percent increase over 2008.

In 2010, online radio will hit $530 million, a 20 percent gain. The segment will continue its double-digit growth pace hitting $827 million by 2013.

So kids these days are still listening to radio, albeit on a variety of platforms that only came into being in years. Those platforms — Internet in particular — are experiencing explosive growth in ad revenues. The positive advertising figures in particular are heartening, coming as they do at a point when the U.S. is still firmly in the grip of a serious recession.

Double digit growth is not a phrase we’ve heard much of in recent months…

Image: flattop341 / CC BY 2.0
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