Nielsen’s Q3 2015 comparable metrics report revealed the latest figures for media consumption, including strong results for radio. More than 90% of adults listen to radio each week, giving the medium more reach than TV, PCs, or smartphones. Reach in the low nineties percentage was consistent from the second quarter of the year.
As with so much research into radio usage, respondents’ age had some impact in how much time they spent with the audio outlet. Although the average adult spends nearly 13 hours listening to radio each week, the figure drops to below 11 hours for those aged 18-34, while it rises to 13.5 hours for the 35-49 group and nearly hits 14 hours for those over 50.
According to Nielsen’s data, the 18-34 age bracket uses radio 4.96 days in an average week and for an average of 142 minutes a day. On the other hand, Streaming audio on PC happens 2.29 days a week with 51 minutes a day, while streaming on smartphones happens 3.61 times per week at 36 minutes per day. Across all adults, the average radio use during the quarter was 5.15 days per week, 162 minutes per day. Streaming on PC happened 2.2 times per week, 47 minutes per day, while on smartphones occurred 3.33 times per week for 37 minutes per day.
While the streaming figures appear to be far lower than those for traditional radio, Nielsen only counts time on PCs when the music program is in the foreground of the screen. That means a large number of background listening hours may be missing from the final accounting. Also, neither the PC audio streaming nor smartphone audio streaming metrics include any data from video services, such as YouTube or Vevo. The smartphone streaming definition covers the same type of apps as the PC metric, but does not specify whether the app has to be active and/or in the foreground of the phone’s screen.