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  • Matt Cundill

Two Studies on Radio Listening Should Have You Reconsidering How You Broadcast.

Updated: Dec 11, 2019


Two recent studies about people's media consumption habits show that while radio listening is still strong, behaviour is shifting. One thing that is inarguable, the amount of time people spend listening to radio is in decline, while the reach remains strong.


The first is a Canadian study conducted by Audience Insights titled "Radio on the Move", that focuses squarely on usage in the car. Its biggest findings indicate usage has not changed in the last five years. However, the company's president Jeff Vidler pointed out on his LinkedIn page, that other countries have a head start when it comes to tuning to Pandora (not available in Canada) and Spotify. (Since September 2014)

"New alternatives such as podcasts and streaming audio are growing, but still represent a tiny fraction of in-car listening." says Jeff Vidler.


The other study is American and it is the annual media usage study from Edison Research, entitled the Infinite Dial 2016. My two biggest takeaways from the study are: Podcast usage is up 17 to 21% for those who have listened to one in the last month and Online Radio listening has now eclipsed 50%.


I would strongly encourage you to watch the presentation below and familiarize yourself with how your available audience is consuming media. Your show or radio station needs to be available on their terms. If you are still doing things the same way as you did in 2008, then do not skip the slide that shows the number of homes without a radio has jumped from 4% to 21% since 2008.

Please make sure your streaming signal is beautiful. Buy all the necessary codecs and upgrades to make the sound as pristine as possible. You should be treating your transmitter and streaming technologies with equal care and attention you would give to your transmitter.

This is a rehash from last summer, but you need a Podcast Strategy. Now a podcast strategy could just be a "time shifting" strategy for your listeners where you make the best parts of the broadcast available to them after the show. It does not have to be a physical podcast.

Over the next week, take the time to watch this video and then think about the how you are going to broadcast differently over the course of the next year.


Matt Cundill is a radio consultant who works with radio stations of all market sizes in Canada and the United States, creating ON AIR and ONLINE marketing strategies that make branding and selling sense to your company.


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