Study: Radio Listeners Up, Despite Industry Doldrums

Radio advertising revenue may be at its lowest ebb in many years, but the number of listeners is up. According to new data from Arbitron’s national listening report, more than 234 million people age 12 and older listen to radio over a typical week, an increase over last year’s 232 million.

The increase comes at a time when a host of other new audio media on the Internet and on MP3 players compete with traditional radio for the consumer’s time. Even 90 percent of the youngest radio consumers (teens 12-17), those most accustomed to using new technologies, continue to tune in each week. Among 18-23 year-olds, radio reaches 93 percent weekly.

However, the amount of time consumers spend with radio is down, from 19 hours, 32 minutes to 18 hours, 30 minutes, a more than 5 percent drop.

Arbitron’s report is based on its RADAR network radio sample of more than 300,000 respondents.