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Analysis: Consumers Aren't Replacing Radio Listening Time With Other Media.

Whether among heavy or light users of electronic or digital media, radio's usage remains steady and strong. That's the finding based on Katz Radio Group's analysis of 2022 Nielsen Scarborough data in the latest edition of its “Sound Answers” blog.

“From the adoption of new technologies and platforms, to the lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic, consumers have ample opportunity to pick up a new favorite media,” Katz's report says. “Regardless of where consumers stand on picking up or dropping media habits, data shows that radio is a staple among them all.”

While Scarborough's research shows AM/FM radio reaches 89% of adults 18+, with the average adult spending 7 hours and 40 minutes with radio weekly, radio's reach is unchanged among heavy users of TV or the internet, with average weekly time spent higher (7:53) among heavy TV viewers and still strong (7:28) among heavy internet users.

“In true media junkie fashion, these users are not sacrificing radio time to compensate for their amped up usage of other media,” the report says. “People are not replacing radio time with other media usage, even as they adopt or favor another media.”

As it turns out, lighter users of TV (1 hour and 42 minutes weekly) or the internet (2 hour and 31 minutes weekly) use AM/FM radio at similar levels, with light internet users spending 7 hours and 38 minutes, and light TV viewers 7:17, with radio. “Radio offers brands new opportunities for engagement with under-engaged media consumers as well,” Katz's report says.”[While] 4 in 10 adults fall into the light user categories for TV and internet, meaning they are unlikely to have any meaningful exposure to ad campaigns, radio fills that gap for brands.”

The report stresses the need for advertisers to be aware of AM/FM radio's consistency among users of media regardless of level of engagement. “As consumers' media appetites continue to evolve, it is important for marketers to stay on top of consumption data to know how to best engage with prospective customers,” it says. “Whether it's reaching today's digital superfans target, or filling the reach gap for under-engaged media consumers, radio is a must for brands.”

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