Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine

Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere

| April 16, 2021

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Both programmers and sales reps – and retail advertisers you pitch – will find this NPR/Edison Research useful.

Based on 1,500 early-2021 online interviews with Persons 18+ who had listened to radio in the past week, weighted, it’s available for free download here. Included there: video interviews with some who were surveyed, which will make you long for the days when radio funded focus groups.

Here’s my short version, notes from yesterday’s webinar presentation.

Radio’s Reach, including streams:

  • 63% of Americans listen to AM/FM stations every day (Edison)
  • 89% each week (Nielsen)

Broadcasters’ work is still the most-consumed audio.


Survey data identifies six radio audience segments, listed here in order of Time Spent Listening. And The Pareto Principle strikes again: The smallest of these listener cohorts contributes the most weekly Time Spent Listening:


Because most of my radio work is in news/talk, I was pleased to see those top three listener types, fleshed-out as follows:





The full-report download includes similar profiles for the other three listener segments.

Ammo for Sales

Charts graph how “Radio listeners are more engaged with ads on radio than with ads on TV or social media.”

Among comments from those video interviews:

  • “I love when ads are entertaining,”
  • “Local” ads are helpful.
  • “Awesome” that spots “promote local businesses.”
  • “I like to support local businesses whenever possible.”
  • One listener finds most ads “annoying…obnoxious,” BUT “If it pertains to me I’ll listen to it.”

There’s evidence of the social conscience often attributed to Millennials. A 27-year-old woman decried predatory ads, i.e., we’ll-get-you-out-of-IRS-trouble, and payday loans. “NPR is selective.” Another called NPR advertisers “socially responsible.”

Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Analysis