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Most Radio Listening on Traditional AM/FM Receivers

An interesting article appeared in Jacobs Media Strategies regarding how listeners consume radio. The good news is that most listeners rely on traditional AM/FM radios to receive radio content. Citing a study by FMR/Eastland, the article noted:

“The research shows that in America's biggest markets, two-thirds (66%) of radio listening is taking place on good old AM/FM receivers. Presumably, the remainder is being done digitally – on computers, mobile phones/apps, and smart speakers.”

This number is also supported by a Jacobs Media study that indicated 58% of listening in through the traditional AM/FM receiver.

However, a word of caution is in order. While listening via a traditional AM/FM receiver still dominates, Jacobs reports that the long-term trend has been to see an increase in listening on digital media. According to Jacobs Media:

“Yes, AM/FM is still in the lead, but the trends have dramatically moved in the digital direction.  If you're a traditional broadcaster who's been slow to adapt, you might read the FMR/Eastland headline as a sign that perhaps the transformation away from AM/FM receivers is moving slower than the naysayers suggest.  On the surface, their one-time “screen cap” of 2023 listening in major markets gives a sense that “regular radio” listening is hanging in there.  I'm not suggesting their data is purposely misleading because it's not.  But trending provides perspective, and most radio broadcasters need that now.”

Whether this trend will continue is uncertain. However, stations must be ready if this trend continues.

You can see the full analysis in Jacobs Media Strategies here.


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