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Nielsen: Radio’s Evolution Is Resonating With Consumers

Its latest report focuses on medium- and small-market U.S. radio consumers, tracks listening behaviors and demographics

Nielsen’s latest Audio Today Report offers yet more data points to fend off radio naysayers. 

This report focuses on medium- and small-market radio consumers in the United States and tracks listening behaviors and related demographics. 

Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly writes in the report’s introduction, “Radio is not simply resting on a hundred years of legacy or its enviable place in the dashboard. Radio is evolving in new and different ways that are resonating with both consumers and advertisers alike.”

Radio’s continued ubiquity in small-town USA is evident: In medium and small markets, 98% of adults 18+;  94% of adults 18-34; and 99% of adults aged 25-to-54 listen to radio monthly.

And while rural areas have a reputation in some circles for being slower to adopt new technologies, Nielsen says that consumers in these markets are “sophisticated audio users” who have also added podcasts and smart speakers to their routines. These consumers’ podcast affinity also makes sense when you consider that news/talk radio is the second-most popular radio format at 11.8% in medium- and small-markets. These listeners haven’t abandoned radio, however. 

[Smart Speakers Grow in Importance]

According to the report, 90% of podcast listeners continue to tune in to radio, and the same is true for 92% of smart speaker owners. 

Kelly also points out that radio hasn’t abandoned listeners who have adopted these new technologies: “Radio companies are developing interesting new digital brand extensions and delivery platforms including streams, podcasts, and voice-activated assistants.” That’s especially good news, considering that smart speakers were found in 29% of U.S. homes as of Q2 2019, according to the Nielsen MediaTech Trender. 

Learn more about these and other insights in Nielsen’s Audio Today Medium & Small Market Edition report.