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Lots of Adults Still Listen to OTA Radio, Nielsen Report Shows

However, TV and smartphones increasingly take up consumers’ time

Radio’s penetration is holding strong against competition from other media and devices, according to the Q2 2016 Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report released this week. However, TV remains solidly in the lead as the most heavily consumed platform among adults of all ages.

Nonetheless, 93% of adults listen to radio each week, which is the same as it was for Q1 2016. Broken down by age groups, there is still little variation: 92% of those 18–34 listen weekly; 95% of those 35–49 listened; and 92% of those 50 and older reported listening.

The average American adult also listens to radio about five days per week; smartphone use is more frequently, averaging closer to six days.

Adults spend the most time watching TV, averaging 32 hours and 32 minutes per week. Younger adults use their smartphone more than they engage with any media other than TV, but the average is skewed because adults 50 and older do not spend nearly as much time with these devices. Radio comes in second for most time spent with a device (13 hours and four minutes per week — up from 13 hours and one minute in Q1), except among those 49 and younger, who favor smartphones.

Hispanic audiences are the most avid radio listeners and spend the most time using their smartphones, black audiences watch more TV than any other group, while Nielsen reports.

Also, contrary to what you might expect, the report says more adults aged 35–49 use smartphones, tablets and PCs than their younger, millennial counterparts.

The report is intended to “display an ‘apples to apples’ view of consumption across TV, radio, TV-connected devices, PCs, smartphones and tablets” over a 13-week reporting period, Nielsen explains. (Note that this only the second report that used data for the full quarter, rather than a five-six week snapshot, so comparisons year-over-year cannot be made as directly.) Additionally, a legacy crediting rule on iOS devices that capped usage at 30 minutes was removed, which likely contributed to increased time spent using smartphones and websites.

You can download the full report here.