“Media pundits will tell you that our industry is in a state of flux. And they’re right,” notes Dounia Turrill, SVP of Insights at Nielsen. In that flux, this report shows AM/FM listening to be fairly stable, with trend signals that move in different directions.
Traditional radio’s Cume (cumulative audience) edged upward in Q4 2014, from 257-million in 2013 to 258-million. Reach is holding steady in absolute numbers. (Nielsen does not break out its Total Audience Report figures as population percentages. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that three-million people have been added to the U.S. population since December 31, 2013.)
Time spent listening (TSL) per month shows a 3% drop from the previous year, down from 60:16 (hours:minutes) to 58:36.
The demographic breakdown of monthly TSL is stark, and possibly revealing of audience change at a generational pace:
- 12-17, 35:13
- 18-24, 50:14
- 25-34, 53:42
- 35-49, 62:47
- 50-64, 68:55
- 65+, 61:16
The clear story there: radio skews older. Millennials do like radio (as we learned recently), but not as much as Boomers do. Digital Natives, the youngest group, drop off sharply in time spent.
- 2012, 2:50
- 2013, 2:46
- 2014, 2:43