Brad Kelly kicks off his opening letter in Nielsen’s latest State of the Media: Audio Today with “Radio is remarkably resilient.” This statement couldn’t be more fitting. Given the cavalcade of media platforms available to today’s consumer – TVs, smartphones, tablets, and TV-connected devices – radio’s reach continues to hold strong. Nielsen’s June study reinforces the power of audio in all forms, from network radio’s targetability and message frequency to podcasting’s compelling audience.
Reach, by the numbers
Radio reaches more Americans than any other platform, a whopping 93% of all adults each week. The comparable figures break down as follows: TV’s reach is 89%, smartphone is 83%, PC is 50%, “TV-connected devices” are at 44% and tablets are at 37%.
Taking a closer look at demos, reach peaks with adults 35-49, with 95% listening weekly. At the younger side of the spectrum, looking at the 18-34 demo, that reach number is still strong at 92%, dominating TV, which fell to 79%.
Radio’s audience is also growing in absolute terms, particularly among adults 18-49. In March 2017, Radio reached 125.4 million A18-49 weekly, an increase of around 750,000 from the previous year.
As a mass medium platform, radio delivers broad reach across all demos. Diversity was a huge theme and this study points to radio’s incredibly diverse audience. The African American 12+ audience grew from 31,315,000 in 2015 to 32,357,000 in 2017. Hispanic 12+ audiences also show even more impressive growth over the same time frame – from 40,351,000 to 42,444,000.
Diversity applies to content too. Network programming includes everything from 24-hour music channels to play-by-play sports, and draws audiences from all socio-economic backgrounds. More than 95% of radio listeners tune to a network-affiliated station every week.
Let’s not forget about podcasts
New to this year’s report was a closer look at podcasting – especially who’s listening and what they’re listening to. Nielsen confirms that podcasts draw young, affluent, and educated listeners. Nearly half of podcast listeners are adults 18-34 and were found to be more likely to carry a post graduate degree (68%) and have a HHI income of $250K+ (45%).
Looking to tap into this desirable listener? Here’s where you can find them. 48% of podcast consumers are drawn to comedy podcasts – the most popular genre. Educational shows are a close second at 40%, followed by news (38%), sports (27%), politics (22%), gaming (18%), and tech (16%).
Check out the full report here and #AskAdLarge about how the power of audio – from national reach networks to targeted, relevant programming – can work for your brand.
Source: Nielsen “State of The Media: Audio Today”, June 2017