If Radio Grows In The Forest Of Media, Does It Make A Sound?

I suppose it’s in Arbitron’s best interest to drum up business for radio since they’re in the radio ratings business. But they’re maintaining that the radio audience is expanding.

From the press release:

The number of persons twelve and older listening to radio each week now reaches an estimated 241.3 million, representing 93 percent of the population twelve and older.

In addition to adding 1.4 million weekly listeners during the past year, radio listening among key demographics continues to hold steady. Compared to the December 2010 RADAR report, teens aged 12 to 17 remains consistent at 22.8 million, or 92% of that demographic’s population. Radio listeners aged 18 to 34 increased slightly versus the December 2010 RADAR report. Radio now reaches 66.3 million weekly listeners in this age range, that’s 93.4% of this demographic.

So 92% of teens 12-17 listen to radio? Terrestrial radio? Do you believe that? Have you been in any agency meeting recently where someone says, “We can really effectively reach customers under 34 using radio”?

If any of this is remotely true, then the powers who control radio stations oughta get in and redouble their efforts to make sure that radio programming is vital and original. Years of consultant-driven programming has turned many listeners off for good.

But most importantly, they need to ensure that they encourage and attract decent radio commercials. Because nothing will drive away listeners more than a putrid mix of bad music, bad DJ banter, and bad commercials. I personally love writing radio spots, and I hope there’s a future for them. This report says the medium still has a chance to remain vital.

(Of course, I picked out a boom box image for this entry that’s gotta be 30 years outdated)

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About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.