Turn Up the Music!

Author: Nick Arias, Research & Insights Assistant, RAB

Don’t you love it when your favorite song comes on the radio? There is nothing better than turning the volume up and singing out loud! If one thing is clear, it’s that music lovers have a great relationship with radio.   

While there are different options for people to listen to music, music lovers listen to the radio, and it can be one of the foundations for discovering new music. According to MRI-Simmons, nearly seven in 10 (66%) adults who listen to music weekly tune into AM/FM radio.

Radio has the music, news, information and on-air personalities that listeners want to hear. You can listen to music and stream anywhere on any device thanks to technology. Data from The Infinite Dial 2023 shows that 214 million people ages 12+ (75%) have listened to online audio within the last month. Of the total population of ages 12+, 70% have listened to online audio within the past week. Seventy percent of Hispanics listened to online audio in the past week, and weekly online audio listening is even higher among African Americans at 75%.

People tune into radio while in their cars. Based on The Infinite Dial 2023, 73% of adults 18+ have used AM/FM radio as an audio source in the car within the past month. Among Hispanics, 73% use broadcast radio in car compared to 62% of African Americans. No matter how you look at it, radio ranks high among these cohorts.

Like the various programming, music and artists available across radio stations, people have differing music preferences. There is a variety of music genres that people listen to. Sixty-seven percent of people who listen to soft rock music also listen to the radio, per MRI-Simmons fall data. Sixty-six percent of adults who listen to country music, and 65% of people who listen to classic rock music also tune into radio.

There are also differences by age group when it comes to music genres. Adults from different eras have grown up listening to genres that appeal to them. For example, 52% of rhythmic radio listeners are between the ages of 18-34, while 47% of adult hits listeners are 35-54. Forty-eight percent of jazz radio listeners fall between the age group of 55-74, and 28% of classical music radio listeners are 75 years of age or older.

As much as you may enjoy listening to music by yourself, whether on broadcast radio or via its stream, attending a live performance is what music listeners enjoy the most. Those who attend festivals or concerts love listening to the radio. According to MRI-Simmons, 67% of those who went to a classical music/opera performance in the past year are radio listeners. Sixty-six percent of country music attendees have something in common with 66% of Hip-Hop/Rap concert goers – they are radio listeners.

Radio provides additional benefits to music lovers. Based on MRI-Simmons, of those adults who have purchased any song, album or other audio:

  • 53% believe radio is pure entertainment.
  • 53% state that radio puts them in a good mood.
  • 48% believe that radio keeps them informed/up to date with things.
  • 38% consider radio a good source of learning.

Radio plays a role in the lives of music lovers. It keeps them connected and helps them to discover new music. Whether it’s age, genre or where they listen, the one common note that keeps them connected is radio.


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