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PQ Report: Radio Use Expected To Grow In 2024, Powered By Election Coverage, Trump Trials.

While PQ Media's just-released annual “Global Consumer Media Usage Forecast 2024-2028” shows overall radio usage in the U.S. off 0.7% in 2023, to 11.4 hours per week, the medium is expected to be back in the plus column this year, up a projected 1.1%, fueled by coverage of the Presidential and Senate elections, as well as the trials involving former President and Republican candidate Donald Trump.

PQ's breakdown for audio use in the U.S. in 2023 shows AM/FM radio slipping 1.4% to 9.3 hours per week, with mobile audio up 10% to 1.8 hours per week, and online audio down 7.7% to close to half an hour weekly. Data by gender and generation shows men's use of radio slightly ahead of women, 11.9 vs. 11.3 hours per week, while baby boomers use it the most of all generations at 14.2 HPW, with i-Gens (those born between 1996 and 2012) using the least at 4.3.

Globally, while the forecast projects accelerated growth for media consumption in 2024 vs. a sluggish 2023, it also notes that 2022 will be the final year of positive growth for traditional media, given the rapid shift to digital media usage. According to PQ's media breakdown for 2023, print books was the only traditional platform to post growth in 2023, up a meager 1.3%.

The report – which focuses on use of 11 traditional media platforms, 25 digital media platforms and channels, and 11 hybrid media silos, over the top 20 global markets and other countries in each of the four major global regions – points out the continuing shift from traditional to digital media in 2023, with the latter's share at 37.5% globally vs. 27% in 2018.

"While live sports like the Super Bowl and UEFA Champions League drive broadcast and cable TV usage, video streaming was the fastest growing media channel in 2023, some of which was driven by live sports programming now found on Amazon Prime's Thursday Night Football, for example,” PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn says.

Total global consumer media usage, including all digital and traditional media, grew 0.3% in 2023 to an average of 56.2 hours per week, its slowest rate in more than a decade. While some of that growth was the result of high inflation causing consumers to cut discretionary spending on media like books, video games, print subscriptions, and streaming services, it was also due to no major political or global sporting events to fuel media usage, as is usually the case in odd-numbered years.

It then follows that PQ expects media consumption to record faster growth in 2024, as lucrative political elections in the U.S. and other top 20 global markets, and the Paris Summer Olympics, drive media usage up. "In 2026, we'll see this same phenomenon in the Americas when the United States, Mexico and Canada tri-host the FIFA World Cup and, again, in 2028 when the Summer Olympics are held in Los Angeles,” Quinn says.

Other findings from PQ's report show the average global consumer spending 8.2 hours per day with media in 2023, up from 7.3 in 2018; ad-supported media accounting for 53.3% of consumer time spent in 2023, down from 55.8% in 2018; and TV the most used of the 11 video platforms tracked, reaching 27.5 hours weekly.

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