Radio Still Rules

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

It’s a companion. It’s entertainment. It’s information and so much more.

You have read before about radio’s personal connection and radio’s ability to drive website traffic for nonprofits and lawn and garden retailers, but where and how do they use it?

No audio device or platform rules the dash like broadcast radio. According to The Infinite Dial 2022, broadcast radio remains the top audio device adults turn to in car.

Based on the audio sources used by adults that have driven or ridden in a vehicle in the past month, AM/FM is tops at 73%. That is higher than other options available, such as owned digital music, CD players, podcasts and SiriusXM. While it also outranks online audio, it is important to note that online audio includes broadcast radio streams.

What about online audio? Broadcast radio is available whenever, wherever and in whatever format people want to listen. People tune into to radio via streams and apps, via devices and platforms and that listening continues to grow. Seventy-two percent of people 12 years of age or older, listened to online audio in 2022. This percentage has continued to grow each year based on The Infinite Dial which is one of the longest running studies in this field.

According to The Infinite Dial, only 5% of people ages 12 and older listened to online audio in 2000. Ten years later, it was 27%. In 2022, this means that over seven in 10 people are tuning into online audio – broadcast radio online or streamed audio content. This translates to nearly 209 million people.

Broadcast radio is also enjoyed via smart devices or smart speakers. With 41% of households having at least one smart speaker (with or without screens) in the home, people can ask their device to play their favorite radio station.

It is not just about in car or online. Broadcast radio still has a place in the home. Fifty-four percent of the U.S. have one to three radios in the household. That is a lot of radios, and that percentage is a lot higher than most people would think. (Did you know that the average number of TVs in a home is 2.3?)

And some households have both – radio and smart speakers. Based on the survey results captured by Edison Research, 40% of the 12+ population own just a radio, and 21% own both a smart speaker and a radio.

As this post started out, radio is a companion; it’s entertainment and it delivers information. No matter how you look at it, radio still rules. Just ask the 73% of adults who have been in a car the past month. They’ll tell you.


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