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How Radio Explains America: 59% of Americans listen to the radio once a day and 91% do so weekly.

Stashed in: Business Facts, America!, Active Users, America, Freakonomics, Sociology

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Though people have been predicting itsdemise for years, traditional radio continues to be an important part of American life. 59% of Americans listen to the radio once a day and 91% do so weekly.  As of 2012, more Americans listened to the radio on a daily basis than used the internet or read newspapers/magazines.

Though internet and satellite radio are growing in popularity, local radio (also called “terrestrial radio”) accounts for about 80% of the market. Local radio is impressively quick to react to the demands of the market. Radio conglomerates like iHeartMedia willmercilessly change the format of a station when local tastes evolve.  

The responsiveness of local radio to local consumer demand makes the ratings of local stations a fun resource for exploring local American culture. For this exploration, we analyzed the June 2015 Nielsen ratings of radio stations in the 50 largest radio markets. These ratings reflect the share of radio listeners that, at any given time, are listening to that station.  If a station has a share of 10, then at any given time, 10% of all listeners in that market will be listening to that station.

91% of Americans listen to radio at least once a week?! Wow!

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