A recent YouGov report – ‘New Generations and the Future of Radio 2014’ reveals that although there is variance in the popularity of radio across different age groups, the future remains bright for the industry.
Overall, 81% say they listen to the radio, 45% describing themselves as regular and 36% as occasional listeners. The vast majority (74%) expect little or no change in their consumption in the next five years.
However the age dimension to popularity is clear; the percentage who choose radio in their top three most-important media activities declines from 43% for over-55s to 34% of 40-54s and 14% of 16-39s. Older listeners are more likely to describe radio as ‘good company’, ‘informative’, and ‘convenient’, while the highest response given by 16-24 year olds is ‘so-so, I can take it or leave it’ (28%). Crucially however, 71% of adults say ‘Radio is here to stay’, while a far lower percentage – 28% - say ‘Radio is likely to decline in future because there are so many other kinds of media’.
Music is the most popular type of radio consumption. And while Under 25s are more likely to use online videos such as YouTube for accessing music, 42% of music listeners aged 16-39 use radio stations; 39% of those aged 16-24 use online streaming services such as Spotify for music.
YouGov Reports’ Associate Director Tom Rees said “The disparate nature of radio consumption provides both a challenge and an opportunity to radio organisations. An ageing population and an increasing numbers of retirees could mean increasing popularity, however the test is to ensure that young people continue to reach out to radio as they grow older. To address this challenge, radio must continue to be a place of ‘music discovery’ and must adapt to new ways of enjoying content on the go – and on modern media devices.”