Who still listens to the radio?

With so many options for entertainment today, who still listens to the radio? Just about everyone. But not everyone listens to the radio in the same way. And contrary to popular perception, radio reaches a surprisingly large number of millennials.
According to the latest info from Nielsen, here’s who’s tuning in:
  • Baby Boomers age 50 to 64 spend more time with radio than any other age group - an average of 15 hours and 6 minutes per week
  • Generation X age 35 to 49 tune in for 13 hours and 35 minutes
  • Millennials age 18 to 34 spend the least time listening, at 11 hours and 9 minutes.
So with millennials having the shortest listening time, why is radio still a good way to reach them? Sheer numbers. They may listen for a shorter timeframe, but they have the greatest mass of listenership across all demographics, with 66.5 million tuning in every week. Radio reaches 92 percent of the millennial demographic. At 58 million and 94 percent, boomers are the second-largest audience. Gen X comes in third in audience size at 57.4 million, but largest in listener share at 95 percent.
Age and lifestyle also dictate when and where audiences are tuning in. The largely retired boomers tend to listen at home and at mid-day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gen X is most likely to listen from 6 to 10 a.m. on the way to work, while millennials are most likely to listen on the way home from work, from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. Male listeners edge out females in every group, with the difference becoming more pronounced with age: 52 percent to 48 percent for millennials, 53 percent to 47 percent for Gen X, and 54 percent to 46 percent for boomers.
While overall listenership is down over the past few years, the decline is smaller than most people might think. In 2001 the percentage of Americans over 12 who listened to the radio weekly was just under 95 percent. In 2014 it was just under 91 percent. The top format for 2015 was news/talk, followed by top 40, country, adult contemporary and hot adult contemporary.

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