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Research and Stats

Despite Living in a Gadget-Filled World, America's Youth is Listening and Listening

In a recent review of 14 PPM markets, Arbitron concluded that Radio's median age (the average age of Radio listening) has stayed remarkably stable over the last three years. In December 2008, the median age of Radio listeners across these 14 markets was 42 years. In December 2010, the median age in those same markets has not changed even one year... the median age is still 42.

Digging even deeper to look at median age for the nation, Arbitron used the RADAR Network Radio service and found that the results are consistent with PPM. Nationally, the median age for cume listeners was 44 in RADAR 107 from December 2010. Going back three years ago, the median age was the same (44) and five years ago (before many digital platforms gained traction) the median age for Radio cume listening was one year younger at 43.

Consider the following:

2006 Median age of the 12+ US Population: 41
2006 Median age of cume Radio listening (RADAR National audience): 43, a difference of two years

2010 Median age of the 12+ US Population: 42
2010 Median age of cume Radio listening (RADAR National audience): 44, still a difference of two years

Edison Research American Youth Study

Edison Research's 2010 follow-up to their landmark 2000 study on the media habits of 12-24-year-olds reveals that America's youth are still very much in tune with Radio, despite living in a gadget-filled world where media is increasingly pulled and not pushed. While challenged by a proliferation of alternative media choices, Radio continues to play an important role in the lives of the 12-24 population.

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Including AM/FM Radio, streamed AM/FM, and Internet only stations – 12-24s spend over 1 day per week (24 Hours and 23 Minutes) listening to Radio. Among this age group, online delivery is the preferred method:

Hours/Minutes per week:
AM/FM Radio/Streamed AM/FM Radio - 10:15
Internet-only Radio:
Pandora - 6:53
Other - 7:15

Total Radio Listening - 24:23


The average household with a member in the 12-24 age group has 3 Radios (not including Radios in vehicles driven by the household).

Nearly half (46.7%) of 12-24s listen to Radio in places other than the car. One-third agreed somewhat to the statement that they listen to AM/FM Radio only in their cars, with another 20% agreeing strongly that in-car listening is their only venue for AM/FM tune-in.