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Americans overwhelmingly cite AM/FM radio as the electronic source used most often for keeping up-to date with music:

  • AM/FM radio - 19%
  • YouTibe – 15%
  • Spotify – 10%
  • SiriusXM Radio – 5%

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2017 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)


AM/FM Radio offers broad reach that will fill in the gaps of high percentages of the U.S. population not reached by alternative audio platforms. 

  • Reaches 90% of the total U.S. 12+ population, according to latest Nielsen Audio data

(Source: Nielsen Audio RADAR 135, December 2017)


Radio reaches more people weekly than any other medium.

(Source: Nielsen, The Comparable Metrics Report, Q2 2017)


They may like customized playlists and personalized channels on digital platforms, but consumers rely on AM/FM radio for new music discovery:

  • 49% of consumers use AM/FM radio to discover new music, continuing its reign as the primary source of new music discovery
  • 72%of U.S. online streamers listen to some form of radio

(Source: Nielsen, 2017 Year-End Music Report, U.S.)


Traditional radio offers advertisers an established, audited audience ratings system (Nielsen Audio); online audio services make claims based on a variety of untested and questionable metrics

    Radio is the go-to source in weather events, emergencies: Consumers turn to AM/FM radio during emergencies and weather events when access to television and cable signals fails. FM chip-enabled smartphones also help to deliver information during these same emergencies.

    Insures Exposure to Ad Messages: On AM/FM radio, everyone hears the same content (both programming and advertising) and advertisers run messages tied to specific content in specific time periods; customized online audio sites allow everyone to listen to their own individualized station, so there’s no way to buy against specific content at a specific moment. Airing schedules on both AM/FM and digital/online and/or satellite insures that target audiences will be exposed to the advertiser message.

    Radio has a high out-of-home presence, making it an optimal vehicle for retailers and other advertisers who need to reach the on-the-go consumer right before they shop

    • Among Adults 18+ who have driven/ridden in a car in the past month
      • 52% have ever used owned a CD player in their primary vehicle
      • 45% have ever used owned digital music in their primary vehicle
      • 26% have ever listened to online radio
      • 22% have ever used satellite radio

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2017 – Edison Research/Triton Digital)


Commercial Acceptance: Online audio listeners have the capability to skip content and advertising messages; while AM/FM listeners can change the station to avoid commercials, research shows that the majority stay tuned when the spots come on. The study by Arbitron/Coleman Research, “What Happens When the Spots Come On” found that 93% of listeners stay tuned during lead-in to commercial breaks, and 90% stayed for breaks longer than 3 minutes.


Glossary:  http://www.rab.com/public/reports/buysellterms.pdf
FAQs:  http://www.rab.com/whyradio/faq.cfm
Statistics and Trends:  http://www.rab.com/whyradio/