Nielsen: Radio Still Dominates Audio Universe


The ratings firm is out with its Total Audience Report for the third quarter of 2018. The news for the audio world is very encouraging. As more ways to listen to audio become available, more people are spending time with audio. And, according to Nielsen, radio continues to be the dominant player.

Radio is at the center of the audio universe, according to Nielsen. The latest report shows that radio is holding steady, reaching more Americans each week (92%) than any other media platform. Smartphones are now used more than ever to stream audio content , while podcasts (19%) and satellite radio (16%) continue to grow.

One reason radio maintains its broad reach is due to high usage occurring away from the home. Automobiles are the most significant listening location, as 65% of all non-home radio use occurs there. That number increases to 77% on weekends. Nearly one-third of non-home listening also occurs at work, where consumers can multitask while they carry out their jobs.

The study also shows that adults spend 10 hours and 30 minutes per day connected to media, the same amount as one year ago. They spend one hour and 44 minutes per day with radio, that’s down four minutes from Q3 of 2017.

Read the entire report HERE.


  1. Radio ratings are simply a weak tool for National advertising agencies to take the lazy way out and dazzle anybody that takes them seriously.
    Advertisers go, “Well, you guys are the pro’s, right?”
    Of course, the stations that get the buys are delighted.
    The others just have to lump it – with no recourse.
    Hell of a system.

    • I believe revenues have declined because radio street fighters are outnumbered by bright shiny new products developed daily by digital purveyors. The pie is the same but when two radio groups in my market face over twenty new competitors we’re bound to lose some share. It was like one time years ago when we had three yellow pages in our market. Everyone thought they had to be in all three and it drained share for other mediums. Do you want to know that 470 people liked you post or clicked thru or do you want to take a bigger deposit to the bank on Monday….. you decide.


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