Who Listens to the Radio?

Who Still Listens to the Radio?

You have probably heard of, and may even use, digital media outlets that allow for online music streaming. Despite the popularity of these services, radio reaches over 90% of U.S. adults (around 227 million people) weekly. This is a number which has remained relatively stable since 2001.

But you may wonder, who is listening to the radio and, more specifically, is your target audience radio listeners. First, realize that radio listeners are a diverse bunch–it is impossible to box them into one specific demographic. Because it is so easy to listen in the car, at work or at home, nearly everyone listens at some time during their week.

Below we’ve provided you with some useful and interesting information about today’s radio listeners.

By Gender

According to statista.com, 89.4% of men and 89.9% of women listen to the radio. Of course, you will find that these numbers vary, often dramatically based on the station or radio format. For example, Hubbard’s WSHE (adult contemporary) reaches a 55% female and 45% male audience, while WDRV (classic rock) reaches a 41% female and 59% male audience. So, even though a similar number of men and women listen to the radio, different numbers are found on different channels. Advertisers will do well to target their advertising to the channels that best suit their demographics.

By Age

A common myth is that radio listeners are older and less tech-savvy. While it is true that many Baby Boomers choose to listen to the radio because they are more familiar with the format than other new streaming methods, others are listening at work, when they are commuting or when it is not convenient to stream. Even the youngest listeners tune into local stations to hear the latest popular songs. Radio listeners are found in similarly high numbers among all generations, according to figures shared by media relations experts News Generation.

For instance:

    • More than 71.6 million Millennials (95%) use radio each month
    • Nearly 80.5 million Gen Xers (97%) use radio each month
    • More than 41.2 million Boomers (98%) listen to radio each month

By Race and Nationality

Radio is one media source that offers programming that appeals to all ethnic groups. Like with gender, you may find that certain stations and formats appeal more to certain groups as a whole than others. Overall, however, nearly all listeners have an equal interest in the platform. Consider that more than 44.6 million Hispanics (96%) use radio each month and over 34.5 million African American listeners (97%) use radio each month and you’ll see that advertising on this media is an excellent way to reach nearly any audience imaginable.

As far as radio is concerned, the more things change, the more things stay the same. Radio remains a popular media channel, and advertisers can take advantage of its broad reach to increase awareness, improve visibility and get in front of mass audiences. For more information about the power of radio advertising, connect with the Hubbard Chicago Marketing Blog today.

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