The landscape of music listening is ever evolving. Whether discussing the vinyl revival, your new favorite cassette label, or debating the merits of your favorite digital playlists, the options for getting your ears on music are more numerous than ever before. With more and more unique ways to consume music, you might think that radio consumption would suffer. After all, radio is among the lowest mediums out there in terms of customization and personalization, right?
You might be surprised to learn, however, that almost the opposite is true. Radio is still incredibly relevant, and actually reaches more Americans than streaming services! According the Rolling Stone, “228.5 million Americans still turn on a radio each week, far more than the 68.5 million who use streaming audio, and 49 percent of respondents to a listener survey said they found new music on the radio, easily outpacing the 27 percent who found music through ‘online music services’.
The reasoning behind these statistics are mostly speculative. Consider the consequences of radio as a medium. Radio has historically been important for breaking singles by different artists. The nature of the beast is that radio is well-suited to get a lot of people to listen to single songs at a time. What radio is not good for, is whole albums. If DJs tried to spin a whole Led Zeppelin album, rather than “Stairway to Heaven” on a regular basis, people would get tired and bored and change the channel.
While this trend isn’t necessarily anything new for consumers, it has implications for the ever-changing audio landscape and the various mediums that work within it. Fortunately for radio, which can leverage its single-over-album nature, this means that listeners will always resonate with the format of music programming, regardless of the genre or demographic. Funny enough, streaming culture, which through playlists and various features used on different platforms to discover new music, continues to emphasize specific singles, rather than full projects to the consumers, which only serves to maintain the structures that help radio maintain its relevance across consumer groups.
For RadioMax, providing independent radio stations with a mobile solution only increases listenership, as well as a way to increase revenue. In our Advertising & Digital Radio blog, we referenced a Statista study which shows an increasing trend in radio spending, with the projected amount to reach an excess of $18.8 billion by 2021. In addition, Statista also states an estimated 61% of the U.S. population is listening to online radio as of 2017, which is only increasing. Radio remains a dominant medium in today’s world.