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Top radio advertising statistics UK and USA

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Radio advertising has recently changed over the past few years as it is undergoing a process of digitalization. The Internet has changed the way we consumed information and entertainment, this has provided companies with platforms to deliver radio content in more different formats such as podcasts and streaming services. And it is facing big challenges currently such as the fact that Generation Z is using other services such as YouTube and Spotify to discover music.

Even so, radio still makes a great way to reach out audience and build brand awareness, in the UK and the USA, it reaches around 90% of the population every week. With consumers and companies turning to the internet more and more, radio could make a great opportunity to advertise.

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Radio advertising statistics in the USA

Below I have listed the most relevant radio advertising statistics that will get you to shape your marketing campaign improve it.

Over 92 % of Americans over 12 years old listen to the radio weekly

Since the rise of internet, podcast, and music streaming services, it seems like traditional media such as radio and print are not as relevant as they used to be. Radio consumptions have dropped in favour of digital platforms. But radio is still very relevant. In the USA alone, over 93% of people over 12 years old still turn on the radio every week. That comes up for over 200 million people audience.

Radio audience comes up to over 235 million listeners

In the USA, 2018 census states that there are over 327 million people, yet 235 million still listen to the radio every week mainly in cars, but also at home. This means that radio is still a powerful channel to reach. Even so, since radio, podcast and streaming services merge together in the future to programmatic advertising, this will make radio buying more affordable, accessible and easier to track.

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Online radio consumption has increased over the last years and nowadays it accounts for 20% of the total

The digitalization process is also happening to the radio which If radio turns into a more digital format, it will help buyers to purchase media slots easily and it is expected that it will increase the sales of radio advertising. .

There are more country music stations in America than any other type with over 2,000. News/talk follows with 1,375 stations

Needless to say that music is the most consumed content in radio followed by news. It is the radio itself that favour this type of content. Therefore most stations are dedicated to the type of content, making up to over 3300 in the entire USA, around one-third of all total stations.

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Major brands such as Verizon, Home Depot, Walt Disney and Burger King are among the top 20 largest radio advertisers

Needless to say that these companies along with Coca Cola are in general some of the biggest spenders on advertising and obviously they also invest large sums to promote their services on this format. In general, the biggest advertising spenders worldwide are Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Lóreal and, of course, Unilever, with the exception of the Korean giant, all of them are large corporations with multiple brands and products that reach consumers all over the world.

Retail, automotive, insurance, restaurants and financial institutions are the largest advertising industries for radio

Much like in most of the other advertising formats, retail, automobiles, insurance and financial services are the biggest spenders on radio advertising. In the radio case, travel and tourism are missing mainly because this broadcasting format is not as convenient and effective as PPC would be.

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Radio advertising revenue surpassed $20 billion in 2017, and over $15 billion is from local businesses

Radio advertising is still strong, mainly because unlike digital advertising, the consumer perceives it as more trustworthy and prestigious. It makes a great opportunity for local business to buy airtime from affordable small local stations. Actually, most of the spend on radio advertising is done to local purposes which makes up for 76% of total revenue.

Radio advertising statistics in the UK

All type of radio formats reach 90% of the population in the UK every week (Rajar)

The UK radio market holds steady, even though radio and television are seen these as formats in decline, its consumptions is still strong and it is just adapting to satisfy the streaming demand and adapt to the digitalization process the entire society is going through. Radio still reaches 90% of the UK population.

89.7% of the UK’s (54.4m adults over the age of 15) listen to the radio each week

There are three different types of radio consumption: public, streaming and traditional radio. Considering that digital formats such as podcast are increasing every year, in general radio reaches most of the UK population on a weekly basis. You can have more information on the type of audience and share of listening of app and online here.

Average of 21.3 hours a week

At first, over 21 hours a week looks like a really large number for the average radio consumption however this includes also the UK public radio streaming. This explains it. Just last year, Nick Grimshaw from the Rajar reported that it hit its lowest ever audience in 2017 since its foundation in 1992. In Nick’s words: "It is still the number one breakfast show for young people. But they don’t consume as much traditional radio as they used to do.”

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This year its reach is up to 9.8m each week

In general, BBC Radio absolutely dominates the radio broadcasting market as it reaches around 35 million listeners every week, a slight down difference on the previous year. Local radio station listeners make up to over 8 million. In terms of percentages, BBC owns a 52% share of radio audiences.

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Digital radio consumption grows every year, from 45.2% at the end of 2016 to 49.9% a year later

The digitalization process we are witnesses is happening to many aspects and in our society. Radio is undergoing the process too. Internet radio, streaming services and podcasts are changing the way we consume radio. Even though AM and FM still have 50.1% of the radio market whereas digital was split with DAB at 36.3%, digital TV at 5.1% and online and apps at 8.5%.

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Radio advertising is still relevant to build brand awareness and increase revenue. Local radio advertising keeps among the top marketer strategies to promote local services as it still works. If you need help starting a radio advertising company, we are experts at radio media buying and strategy.