Commentary

Turnaround in Terrestrial Radio

Turnaround in Terrestrial Radio

According to initial results from a continuing Audience Attrition project by Bridge Ratings & Research, audience erosion from terrestrial radio, due to less time spent with AM/FM radio and more time spent with a variety of digital media, including MP3 players (including iPods), Internet radio, and satellite radio, has returned somewhat in the 4th quarter of 2005.  

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The report finds that AM/FM radio listening is returning to former high-water marks as a result of both the medium's lower commercial load policies and a growing segment of MP3 users who after some time immersed in their new technology toy, become fatigued with their time spent with the MP3 player and return to terrestrial radio among other sources of audio entertainment.

Other updated findings include:

  • Terrestrial audience erosion to alternative audio entertainment continues to occur in young demographics though at a slower rate than seen previously in 2005
  • Erosion rate halted for the time being among the 25+ age group.
  • MP3 device useage can consume as much as 80% of a radio user's audio entertainment during initial ownership weeks and months. This number tends to be generally lower among 30+ women and 35+ men
  • Time spent with MP3 players has increased among 12-24 year old males faster than with females as 2005 progresses as time spent with Internet radio has slowed
  • Where a 15% decrease in terrestrial radio use by 12-24 year olds was reported for Q3 2005 vs Q3 2004, by Q4 2005 use had increased by two quarter hours per week per person resulting in only a 4% increase when compared with Q4 2004
  • Listening to traditional radio by Adults 25-49 has risen from 65 quarter hours a week (Q4 2004) to 67

Traditional Radio Audience Erosion to New Media  Number of weekly quarter hours listened or used     

Demographic

Qtr 3 '04

Radio/Other

Qtr 4 '04

Radio/Other

Qtr 1 '05

Radio/Other

Qtr 3 '05

Radio/Other

Qtr 4 '05

Radio/Other

 

12-24

62 / 55

54/64

53 /65

53 /67

56/65

25-49

66 /39

65/43

64 / 44

64 / 48

67/46

35-64

76 / 20

70/22

73 / 22

75 / 25

73/27

Source: Bridge Ratings, November 2005         

How to interpret this chart:

  • During quarter 4 of 2004, 25-49 year olds were spending 65 quarter hours per week with traditional radio (AM/FM) and 43 quarter hours per week with alternative media.
  • During quarter 4, 2005, traditional radio usage among this group increased to 67 quarter hours per week while their use of alternative media also slightly increased slightly to 46 quarter hours.

Among other media use among 25-49 year olds, daily use of television actually increased throughout 2005, Internet use was down, listening to recorded music was up and reading books and magazines has remained flat. Time spent with non-media alternatives such as household activities (housework, food preparation, garden care), shopping, sports and socializing has also been affected.

Time Spent with Media Activities per day

Demo: Adults 25-49

Qtr 4 '04

Qtr 3 '05

Qtr 4 '05

Television

3.6 hrs

4.1 hrs

4.5 hrs

Internet

62 mins

60 mins

55 mins

Recorded Music

42 mins

37 mins

40 mins

Books & Magazines

30 mins

25 mins

27 mins

Source: Bridge Ratings, November 2005

 

Reasons for Increased Use of Traditional Radio

 

12-24

25-49

35-64

Bored with MP3

34%

39%

22%

New Stations/Better Radio

These Days

 

19%

26%

40%

Activity Related

25%

15%

19%

Seems Like I'm hearing fewer

commercials on radio

 

17%

16%

10%

Other

5%

4%

9%

Source: Bridge Ratings, November 2005

 

For additional details, please visit Bridge Ratings.

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