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Radio Makes History, Beating TV Among 18 to 49-Year-Olds

“This is being fueled by cord-cutting and streaming.”

Maddy Troy

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Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, which tracks media consumption across all mediums, reveals that AM/FM radio has surpassed television in the key 18-49 advertising demographic, for the first time. 

The study shows broadcast radio had a three percent greater average audience than TV during the third quarter of 2022. “We are seeing media history being made right before our very eyes,” said Cumulus Media Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard after reviewing the results of Nielsen’s report.

“That has never happened before,” Bouvard says. “ This is occurring because of the stiff and steep erosion in 18 to 49 linear TV reach and time spent. This is being fueled by cord-cutting and streaming.”

The speed at which the media landscape has transformed is unparalleled. In 2018, AM/FM radio’s 18-49 average audience was 63% the size of live and time-shifted TV. Now in 2023, the latest Nielsen report shows AM/FM radio now reaches 41% more persons 18-49 than live and time-shifted television.

Nielsen’s research shows 18-49 daily time spent with TV and AM/FM radio are now approximately equal. Television only has a three-minute advantage over broadcast radio – 1 hour and 13 minutes versus 1 hour and 10 minutes.

“That is quite a head-snapper,” Bouvard says. “Radio’s advantage and reach is what’s causing it to beat TV in 18 to 49 average audience,” Bouvard explains in a YouTube video detailing his analysis of the report.

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Media Business

Curtis LeGeyt: NAB ‘Depend on AM’ Radio Campaign ‘Played Crucial Role’ in Support for Congressional Bill

“We are making significant progress, but our work is far from over.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Curtis LeGeyt
(Photo: Jay Mallin NAB)

The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act continues to wait to be voted on by both houses of Congress. NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt believes an initiative from the organization played a paramount role in garnering support for the legislation.

In a story authored by the executive for Radio Ink, he made the case that the “Depend on AM” campaign released by the organization was pivotal for Congressional support for the industry.

“The NAB’s Depend on AM campaign has played a crucial role in rallying this support. We’ve emphasized the importance of AM radio not just as a cultural, news and sports hub, but also as the resilient lifeline during emergencies, offering unmatched reach and reliability,” LeGeyt wrote. “This legislation ensures that AM radio remains accessible to all Americans, especially during public safety crises. We are making significant progress, but our work is far from over.”

Curtis LeGeyt claimed more than 250 members of the House of Representatives and 62 Senators have backed the bill that would require automakers to include AM radios in new and electric vehicle models or require manufacturers to inform customers the new model was not equipped with the band.

The NAB has been a vocal proponent of the bill’s passage, with LeGeyt testifying in front of Congress in support of the legislation.

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Media Business

Local News Becoming Less Prevalent on Radio, New RTDNA Study Shows

68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Barrett News Media

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Local news has been a focal point for radio stations for decades. But that may be fading away, a new RTDNA study shows.

65% of commercial stations still air local news in 2024, down slightly from 66.2% in 2023. Non-commercial stations have dropped 12% points in the past two years, down to just 60.7% airing local news.

However, the disconnect appears to come from locally owned stations versus non-locally owned. 68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Not only are there drops in the number of stations broadcasting local news, but the airtime those updates occupy has also shrunk, according to the RTDNA study.

“The biggest drop in average minutes came in large markets, suggesting that fewer all news or news/talk stations there filled out the Survey this year,” the study states. “Medium markets are down a bit; small markets dropped an average of over 20 minutes per weekday.”

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Media Business

YouTube Largest Podcast Discovery Platform By Wide Margin, Westwood One Study Shows

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

Barrett News Media

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In the span of three years, YouTube has gone from the third most popular podcast discovery platform to the top spot, a Westwood One study suggests.

In a study of more than 600 weekly podcast listeners, 31% say YouTube is the most utilized podcast listening platform. 21% say they use Spotify most frequently, while 12% claimed Apple Podcasts was their go-to destination.

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

YouTube’s podcast listening profile is slightly more male-dominated and also younger than the typical Apple Podcasts audience, according to the results from Westwood One Audio Active Group.

Naturally, the majority of Apple and Spotify users utilize smartphones to access their favorite podcasts, while 38% of YouTube’s audience uses computers and televisions for their favorite shows.

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