Weekly Insights · April 17, 2024

Radio & Car Continue to Ride Together

By Edison Research

Young adult listeners in the U.S. are reached by radio  

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Today concludes the National Association of Broadcasters meeting in Las Vegas, where television, radio, and other executives get together to discuss the opportunities and challenges of today’s media climate. 

On the radio side, two of the themes running through many presentations and panels over the past several days have been in-car listening and listening among younger audio consumers. 

It turns out, when we are talking about today’s 13-34 year olds, the two topics come together.   

According to Share of Ear® from Edison Research, fully 53% of today’s 13-34 year olds are reached by at least some radio every single day – a stat that points to radio’s resilient reach. This can be surprising to those who believe young listeners exclusively use streaming services or only listen to digital audio. But location of listening is key when it comes to radio consumption among this group. The car is not only a good place to reach young radio listeners, for many it’s the ONLY place they listen. Among the 13-34s who listen to any radio, 56% of them will listen only in the car. Programmers should consider the fact that when their messages and music are heard by young radio listeners, it is often in an in-car environment.

Of course that means 44% of younger radio listeners report listening either someplace else, or both in the car and someplace else, which is also notable. 

Advertisers looking for young people can find them listening to the radio in their cars, in impressive numbers.

Share of Ear also tells us when young Americans are most likely to be listening to radio in the car. Morning (6am – 10am) and late afternoon (3pm -7pm) drive times are important for engaging almost all audiences, but specifically Americans 13-34. Programmers should be mindful of all the content they place on-air during these times since this key demographic is most likely to be listening to radio in the car then. Further daypart and age information is available within the broader Share of Ear report.

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