In spite of tough competition from the likes of smartspeakers, smartphones and tablets, broadcast radio is proving to be the most resilient entertainment format in the United States.
Against all odds, AM/FM US radio consumption is growing with the format reaching more consumers than any other entertainment platform in 2019.
That’s according to Nielsen’s Audio Today 2019 report, which states that radio currently reaches 272 million Americans each week.
That is 7m more listeners than the 265m figure published in the same report from 2016.
The number of weekly AM/FM radio listeners in the US jumped from 265m in 2016 to 271m in 2017, but actually dipped by 1m to 270m in 2018. That figure has now topped 272m, according to Nielsen’s latest report.
Looking at users per platform on a monthly basis in the 2019 report, radio still comes out on top, with the format attracting 244.5m users over the age of 18 each month.
TV (Live & DVR TV) on the other hand attracts 231.9m monthly users, while tablets (web users) come in at 135.9m users each month.
The three most popular radio formats amongst listeners over the age of 18 are Country (13.2% of listeners), News/Talk (12.2%) and Adult Contemporary (8.7%).
Nielsen Audio’s Managing Director Brad Kelly pins radio’s continued popularity on “the enviable space it occupies” in the car. “It’s free, ubiquitous, and at the fingertips of virtually every consumer on the road today,” writes Kelly in the report.
In-car listening is a space that Spotify has been moving in on recent months with, for example, the launch of its personalized New Daily Drive playlist that mixes podcasts and music, and the test of its ‘Car Thing’ audio device.
“Broadcast radio’s continued success and resiliency is due in large part to the enviable space it occupies in the automotive console.”
Brad Kelly, Nielsen Audio
Brad Kelly, Managing Director of Nielsen Audio said: “Some of this appeal can be attributed to a long and sustained legacy.
“AM/FM radio, the original electronic media, is the load-bearing wall in audio’s house.
“Broadcast radio’s continued success and resiliency is due in large part to the enviable space it occupies in the automotive console.
“It’s free, ubiquitous, and at the fingertips of virtually every consumer on the road today. Add to that solid foundation all the new delivery platforms and limitless content being offered from streaming and podcasters, and it’s easy to understand why the sector is growing.”Music Business Worldwide