By Steven Clickford
Just in time for the NAB Show, reports from Nielsen states terrestrial radio is still a media king, despite the eroding profits for almost two decades and the disposal of CBS Radio to Entercom and iHeart Media last fall and iHeart’s Chapter 11 last month. Inside Radio reports that Millenials (the 20 to 35 year olds) and Gen Xers (the upper 30s to lower 50s) audience are tuning into radio in alarming rates, given how marketing and futurists believing that everyone would listen to an Alexa with a Pandora app.
This is shocking to even Nielsen. In a whitepaper written by Nelisen Audio (vis-a-vis the acquisition of Arbitron, the ratings agency for radio from several years back), Brad Kelly wrote in a white paper entitled Audio Today – How America Listens he states this “Who would have believed 100 years after its debut AM/FM radio would continue to top the charts as the medium that reaches more consumers each week than any other.”
(For the record, A.C. Nielsen had not been in the radio ratings prior to acquiring Arbitron, sometimes this writer will continue to refer to Nielsen Audio as the former in the sake of old age and nostalgic purposes and impressing people in the industry. )
There is quite a lot more information with nice infographics in the article by Inside Radio. The irony is the amount of listeners when so many in the business have felt the 1970s and 1980s for AM and FM respectively had their peak, the days of “grand” status, flaunting their multi thousand watt Class A stick, and unique talent like Dan Ingram from the former Musicradio 77 WABC in New York.
The real question is why aren’t they profitable? Massive debt, laxed government regulations, etc is a start.