Nielsen’s 2018 Audio Today “How America Listens”  

Technology trends are a bit like fashion trends.  They come and go. But there’s one notable exception to the technology/fashion trend rule in the media world – broadcast radio. AM/FM radio is the blue blazer of the media universe. Who would have believed 100 years after its debut AM/FM radio would continue to top the charts as the medium that reaches more consumers each week than any other.

Audio plays a central role in the daily lives of hundreds of millions of consumers.  Broadcast radio specifically continues to profoundly enrich the lives of listeners and create value for advertisers. Each week, more Americans tune into Am/FM radio (93%) than watch television or use smartphones, tablets or computers. At the same time, digital streaming offers consumers even more ways to listen across many of those same devices.




Let’s Talk Specifics …


According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults 18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone. Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.


Radio plays a special role in our culture.  Its audiences are as varied and diverse as our national makeup.  All generations, demographics and ethnicities are tuning in. That fact has not gone unnoticed by the big national brands.  Billion-dollar advertisers are re-discovering the power of radio and how it can augment, supplement and amplify their media mix.


Excerpted from the Introduction to Nielsen’s 2018 Audio Today – How America Listens … written by Brad Kelly, Managing Director Nielsen Audio




*See Sourcing & Methodologies on page 6 of the Nielsen Audio Today Report April 2018.