What Are Radio’s Heavy Users Up To?


Edison Research released a new study Monday focused on radio’s heaviest users. The report looks at the 30% of the American population, ages 12 and over, who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day. Here’s what they discovered about your biggest listeners.

As The Infinite Dial report revealed last month, among the general population, homes without a radio are becoming more common. That also holds true for heavy radio users. This new data showed that one-fifth of radio’s biggest users own a smart speaker and 82% of heavy radio listeners have a radio in their home. According to Edison, that means nearly 18% of this group achieved “heavy” status primarily through in-car or at-work listening.

The Edison study also states that radio’s best customers are heavy users of all audio. “They listen heavily to broadcast radio, but do not limit themselves to it, something which has implications for future smart-speaker behavior. Nearly two-thirds of ‘heavies’ listen to audio online, with large numbers choosing YouTube, Pandora, and the streams of AM and FM radio stations. Over one-in-six heavy radio listeners now say they have listened to a podcast in the last week.”

Here Edison breaks down the likelihood heavy radio users own various devices or subscribe to certain services. And as mentioned earlier, 18% of heavy radio listeners do so without owning a single radio in their home. Twenty percent of heavy radio listeners have a Smart Speaker – but only a tiny number have a Smart Speaker and no radio at home. Edison wants radio managers to consider this: “The overwhelming majority of heavy radio users have a smartphone – but nearly one-in-five does not. A strong majority of those with smartphones use the voice assistant – and we sit at the mere dawn of the new era of voice-enabled computer interfaces.”
Edison Research President Larry Rosin says, “At this time of industry transition, it is vital that radio managers have high-quality research that represents the full U.S. population to use to understand their audiences. This look at the Heavy Radio Listener from Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how Heavy Radio Listeners compare to the population at large. Readers of this report will see that the qualitative profile of Heavy Radio Listeners is very strong. This is the kind of information that radio managers can show to agencies and clients with confidence in the quality of the data.”

To check out the full report GO HERE.


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