Radio’s reach among adults remains solidly out in front of all media platforms, according to Nielsen’s Q2 2016 Comparable Metrics Report. Radio’s weekly reach clocks in at 93%, followed by TV (87%), smartphone (80%), PC (50%), TV connected devices (43%) and tablet (37%).

The quarterly report looks at the reach various devices have, how often consumers are using them and how long they’re doing so. It finds that radio’s reach is highest among 35-49 year-olds at 95%, followed closely by the smartphone at 93% with TV in third place at 89%. Radio reaches 92% of 18-34 year-olds, the study shows, more than the smartphone (89%), TV (77%) and all other platforms.


While there are no bombshells in the latest numbers, they reinforce radio’s strengths while disproving notions that the medium is declining at the hands of other audio entertainment options. “We’re growing in the average audience per minute, we’re holding our reach across different demo segments and we’re maintaining our share of the entertainment day with every generation,” Katz Media Group executive VP of strategy Stacey Lynn Schulman told Inside Radio. “No matter the generation, we have consistently high reach and a consistent share of their media day.”

The latest numbers once again show radio’s reach is consistent across demographics, with an audience composition equally divided among persons 18-34, persons 35-49 and persons 50+. That gives radio a unique selling position as an equal opportunity medium across the demographic spectrum. “This isn’t a medium that has more interest among one generation or another, it’s a medium that every generation is enjoying, pretty much the same amount across their day,” Schulman says. “No matter where you are in your life stage, radio is a player.”


The average adult listens to radio just over five days a week. But TV is the most heavily consumed platform among adults of all ages. Adults spend 32 hours, 32 minutes with TV per week, followed by radio at 13:04 and the smartphone at 12:01.

Black audiences watch more TV than any other group—a total of 47 hours, 58 minutes per week. Hispanics are the most avid radio listeners, spending 13 hours, 52 minutes listening to radio each week, and they spend the most time using their smartphones (14:31 per week). Asian-Americans have the highest amount of weekly TV-connected device usage for a total of four hours, 18 minutes.

While TV is the most heavily consumed platform, digital devices are gaining steam with younger consumers. In fact, across linear and digital platforms, digital comprises 51% of the total average audience among persons 18-34. And while smartphones are pretty much going everywhere with almost everyone, they also offer a distribution platform that traditional media can hitch a ride on. “Once we have more streaming and more opportunities in phones, it’s kind of a ‘duh’ that radio will continue to dominate,” Schulman says. “When you have all these other places to distribute, it just improves our reach.”

If we combine radio and smartphone, we can get more listeners. Your radio does not already have mobile application?
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