Radio’s Glass: Half Empty, Half Full or Overflowing?

For every 10 minutes of audio consumed by Americans today, more than 9 minutes goes to AM/FM radio.

In a fragmented, mobile world, this is the definition of market share dominance.


And the story keeps getting better.

AM/FM radio generates 720 BILLION more minutes of listening per month among P18+ than smart phone streaming audio, including the pure-plays. On an annualized basis, that’s an advantage of 9.3 TRILLION minutes per year (The Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report, Q2 2017).

720,000,000,000 per month/9,300,000,000,000 per year.

All those commas and zeros represent a jaw dropping advantage.

Politicians talk about billions and trillions as if they are interchangeable, so it can be difficult to truly appreciate the magnitude of AM/FM’s dominance.

As a point of reference:
One billion minutes = 1,902 years
720 billion minutes = 1,369,440 years.

One trillion minutes = 1,902,587 years.
9.3 trillion minutes = 17,694,063 years.
(Source: Google)

To put it in the context of dollars and cents, a million dollars is the height of a chair, a billion dollars is the height of the tallest building on Earth and a trillion dollars goes 600 miles into outer space.

In addition, 85% of listening to AM/FM Radio is done by people with a job, which means they have money to spend with our advertisers.

In the words of numbers guru, Good Will Hunting, “How do you like them apples?”

There are a lot of exceptional organizations advocating on radio’s behalf: NAB, RAB, Nielsen, Numeris, Katz Media, NextRadio, Radio Connects, state broadcasting associations, local market consortiums as well as network syndicators and broadcast ownership groups.

Yet, with all those groups telling our story, who’s the most important advocate for AM/FM radio? YOU.

Light a candle, rather than curse the darkness.

Further evidence? Look at the dominance of AM/FM radio in the Infinite Dial 2018 Report from Edison Research.

For many digital companies and platforms, it’s “fake it until you make it.” Not AM/FM radio, we’ve got the data and a passionate community of local listeners on our side. Not to mention profitability.

If there’s something “wrong” with radio, it’s how we see ourselves and allow others to perceive us.

The mobile and digital revolution is 25 years old and AM/FM remains the top reach medium at 93%.

Our audio dominance and employed audience provide an enormous competitive advantage. In fact, as people grow into their careers and make more money along the way, their AM/FM listening continues to increase. Music to the ears of our advertisers.

AM/FM is the 800# gorilla of audio and truly a brilliant, ad supported business model that allows the audience to access their favorite stations and content without a subscription.

Let’s celebrate what’s right with AM/FM radio.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Doug Smith and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thanks for driving radio forward.

Andrew Curran, President and COO

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