If Radio Went Away Tomorrow, Would Gen Z Miss Us?


(By Marc Greenspan) Radio connects with people of all ages, and contrary to popular belief, even to millennials and Gen Z. According to a recent study conducted by Katz Radio Group, the average time an adult 18 years or older has had a favorite radio station is 18 years.

Can you guess what the timeframe is for Adults 18-34, aka Gen Z and Millennials?

The Katz study found that 68% of all listeners have a favorite radio station, reflecting a variety of formats. The connection is emotional, as 77% of listeners say their favorite station improves their mood and 60% feel their favorite radio station cares about their local community. These feelings run deep, as 82% would truly miss their station if it were gone

As you would expect, at the older end of the age spectrum, Adults 55+ have had a favorite radio station for an average of 23 years. 

But let’s go back to Adults 18-34, the part of the study we are going to highlight. The average time this age range has had a favorite radio station is 12 years. Considering their age, that is a solid number and not far from the average for Adults 18+. Connecting with young adults is great news for radio. And it gets better!

Radio Connects with Adults 18-34!

  • 63% of have a favorite radio station – only slightly lower than 68% for Adults 18+
  • The average time with a favorite radio station is 12 years versus 18 years for all adults
  • 85% would truly miss their station if it were gone – higher than the 82% for all adults
  • 75% are actively engaged, online, offline, or in-person, with their favorite station. And 18-34 is the most engaged age group – compared to 67% for Adults 18+
  • 52% are more likely to purchase brands they hear on their favorite station – more likely than all adults (44%)

Gen Z is actively engaging with their favorite radio stations and would miss the station if it was gone. This age group is also more likely to purchase a product advertised on their favorite station. What more could an advertiser want?

Radio connects with young adults – be proud and spread the word!

This column is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

Marc Greenspan is the CEO and founding partner of Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-295-6619 x11 or by email at [email protected]. Research Director, Inc. offers consulting services to media companies to help them grow their audience, ratings, and revenue. Read Marc’s Radio Ink archives here.


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