Despite a dramatic increase in media choices, consumers are still spending significant amounts of time with radio, and terrestrial radio is still the no. 1 reach vehicle, according to fresh audience data from Nielsen. While the rise of digital media and mobile devices is causing increased fragmentation, consumers continue to dedicate more time to traditional media.
Both radio and TV numbers rose on a weekly and monthly basis, according to Nielsen’s new Q2 2016 Total Audience Report. In May, the average consumer visited 55 websites, used 28 apps, listened to 7 different AM/FM radio stations and watched 22 television channels.
Radio reaches 97% of Americans 18 years and older, and more than 95% of all Americans across key demographic groups, including Hispanics, African-Americans and adults 18-24, 25-34 and 35-49, Nielsen said. Television is a close second, reaching 93% of all adults 18+, while 83% of adults 18+ are using apps and mobile web on smartphones, and 64% of adults are watching videos on mobile devices.
In a testament to radio’s staying power, the amount of radio that consumers are listening to continues to hold steady. In Q2 2016, consumers tuned in to AM/FM radio for an average 1 hour, 52 minutes per day, up from 1 hour, 50 minutes in Q2 2015 and down a fraction from an average 1 hour, 53 minutes in Q2 2014. That consistency comes as Americans spend even more time than ever before on their mobile devices. Smartphone mobile app use has grown to 1 hour, 43 minutes per day in Q2 2016 from an average one hour per day during the same period two years ago. Mobile app use on a tablet has nearly doubled, averaging 32 minutes per day in Q2 2016, up from 13 minutes in Q2 2014. Live TV viewing remained relatively consistent over the two-year period, hovering around 4 hours per day.
On a weekly basis, radio listeners 18+ consumed an average 13 hours, 4 minutes of AM/FM radio programming, second only to live and time-shifted TV, which accounted for an average 32 hours, 32 minutes per day. Smartphone mobile web and apps are next behind radio, with an average usage time of 12 hours, one minute per week, Nielsen says. Weekly radio listening is up over the same quarter last year, when listeners tuned in for an average 12 hours, 53 minutes.
Among radio listeners, adults 35-49 consumed the widest variety of stations, tuning into an average 6.7 different AM/FM stations per month, compared to 6.4 stations for adults 50+ and an average 6.1 stations for adults 18-34, according to May 2016 data.
Use of media platforms varied widely among the most prominent demographic groups, Nielsen reported. Hispanics listened to the most radio in May, thanks in part to increased choices from Spanish- and English-language stations, while African-Americans consumed more TV and the most mobile apps. Asian-Americans visited the most desktop websites and viewed the most desktop-based video.