News January 29, 2018

Report: commercial radio listening hits record high in Australia – and disputes younger demos are turning off

Report: commercial radio listening hits record high in Australia – and disputes younger demos are turning off

A record amount of Australians listened to live and local commercial radio in 2017 than ever before, the sector’s representative body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) reported.

An average cumulative audience of nearly 10.5 million people listening each week in metropolitan areas, growing the audience by more than 200,000 people.

It also disputes the commonly held belief that younger listeners are turning off. The rise in listenership was up in all demos.

“We’re particularly encouraged by the growth in listening among younger audiences,” said CEO Joan Warner.

“There’s a misconception that young people aren’t tuning in – but the data shows it’s one of their favourite mediums, with 79% of 18-24-year-olds tuning in every week.”

The 18—24 group’s figure was 76% in 2016, and is at a four year high.

Warner suggests that radio’s appeal for younger groups is due to the choice of on-air teams and listening options through radio apps and online.

“Radio continues to be one of the best and most reliable ways for advertisers to reach younger audiences,” Warner stressed.

“With new lineups across a number of markets, 2018 promises to be an exciting year in radio.”

The rate of those aged 10 and above who tuned the dial to commercial radio while travelling in cars is 81%. Radio reached 64% of the Australian population through their cars and other vehicles.

Breakfast is the most popular slot, with 7.5 million listening in (Monday – Friday) while nearly 6.8 million people listened during drive time (Mon –Fri).  

DAB+ digital radio listening grew through 2017 to over 3.6 million in the five metropolitan capitals – nearly double those who listen to radio via streaming.

As a result of this rise, CRA says it will now release DAB+ ratings on the same day as regular GfK metropolitan market surveys.  

The first survey for 2018 began on January 21, for release by GfK on Tuesday March 13.

A 2016 study in the United States broke down reasons why people listen to the radio.

64.1% want to hear their favourite songs and artists.

57.8% are fans of specific DJs and shows.

54.9% like to work with the radio on.

50.5% are just n the habit of listening.

41% want to be informed of news updates.

39.9% tune in because radio puts them in a better mood.

36.3% want to know what’s going on in town.

Additionally, a UK study by Radiocentre released last November indicated that news updates are a major draw to radio, because listeners saw radio as the most reliable and trusted medium in an era of proliferating fake news.

Listeners most turned for news updates in the mornings (when 83%in the UK turn to radio), when travelling in car (when 85% turn to radio) and during local emergencies (when 60% turn to radio).

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