Company News · September 29, 2006


By Tom Webster

A new study by Edison Media Research shows sharp declines in Time Spent Listening (TSL), Persons Using Radio (PUR) and most importantly attitudes about radio among the 12-to-24-age group, the listeners who represent both terrestrial radio’s future and its greatest challenge.
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“Six years ago, we presented ‘Radio’s Future: Today’s 12-24 Year Olds,'” noted Edison President Larry Rosin. “That report, the first publicly-available study of 12-24 radio listening, urged broadcasters to take more aggressive steps to fight young-end erosion and cultivate new users. Now, with iPods, podcasting and Internet radio, today’s 12-24 listeners have even more alternatives to terrestrial radio. It is vital for broadcasters to study this newly-updated data and take action.”

The new study will be published in installments beginning Monday, Sept. 18 on The Infinite Dial, Edison Media Research’s daily blog covering the future of audio entertainment.
Among the findings of the new study:
· TSL among 12-to-17-year-olds is down 22% since 1993. Weekly TSL at that time was 65 quarter-hours. By 2000, it had fallen below 60; it is now 51 quarter-hours per week.
· While much recent attention has been focused on teens who may not be learning to use radio at all, 18-to-24 TSL has declined by an even larger percentage (24%). TSL in 1993 was 95 quarter-hours per week; it is now 72 quarter-hours. Listening 12-24 is falling significantly faster than among those 25-plus.
· While broadcasters often point to an increase in the raw number of Persons Using Radio to offset any concern about a decline in TSL, that number has finally flattened – counteracted by the significant increase in the number of people who now report no listening to radio at all. In fact, more than 11% of boys 12-17 now report no weekly radio listening at all.
· The decline in 12-24 listening dates back to the early 90s — a time when few broadcasters were willing to target listeners under 24. While broadcasters showed a renewed interest in younger targeted formats in the mid-to-late 90s, recent years have seen a renewed emphasis on gold-based 25-plus formats and a graying of the programming talent pool.
· Perhaps of most concern, tracking of questions on attitudes about radio among this crucial group trend down as well. Fewer young people expect radio to be an important part of their future lives.
Edison will be releasing all of the data from this landmark study in daily installments beginning September 18th. A complete report will be available soon for download at
About Edison Media Research
Edison Media Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio stations, television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations.
Edison Media Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, ABC Radio, Infinity, Bonneville and Westwood One, and also conducts strategic and perceptual research for a broad array of companies including AOL/Time Warner, Yahoo!, Sony Music, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Universal Music Group, Time-Life Music and the Voice of America. Edison Media Research also conducts research for successful radio stations in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.
Since 2004, Edison Media Research has conducted all exit polls and election projections for the six major news organizations–ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press–and designed and operated the CNN RealVote election projection system in 2002.
All of Edison Media Research’s industry studies can be found on the company’s Web site at and can be downloaded free of charge.

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