Are people still listening to radio?

There has been a lot of talk recently about the demise of radio, and that listenership figures aren’t as good as they once were. This is mainly attributed to online content; and the ability to get our news at the touch of a button on our smartphones.

Colette Sexton wrote an interesting piece about the demise of radio in the Sunday Business Post recently. The news correspondent spoke to Paul Mulligan, who is chairman of the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) committee. Mr Mulligan told Colette that “the radio industry is not “sticking its head in the sand” but instead it is measuring the changing nature of the audience environment and consumption.”

There has been strong criticism of the method used for monitoring radio listenership in the Ireland. Many people believe that the JNLR’s are not an accurate measuring tool, and don’t measure figures in ‘real time’ – leaving out changes in the media world, such as music streaming.

The latest JNLR figures confirm Irish radio’s stronghold on the hearts & ears of Irish audiences with more than 3 million people tuning into Irish radio on a daily basis. The figures show that adults over the age of 15 listen to an average of 175.4 minutes of audio each day. Of that figure, 153.7 minutes are spent listening to the radio. These figures prove that people are still choosing radio and spend a lot of their time listening to traditional media.

A campaign called ‘choose radio’ was launched recently, it aims to get industry professionals to appreciate their roles, while encouraging the public to choose radio too. Gabrielle Cummins, Chairperson of the Choose Radio group which represents all of Ireland’s radio stations to help promote radio said “there is nothing to compare to radio to reflect the mood of the nation. Whether it’s the whole island celebrating Ireland’s last gasp win against France in the Six Nations or the country pausing as one at 12 noon on January 23rd to listen to radio’s tribute to Dolores O’Riordan –  radio unites its listeners in a way no other medium can”.

Choose Radio Group is emphasizing to advertisers that they need to further increase their use of radio advertising to really benefit from the connection between radio stations and their audiences.

Choose Radio comprises all of the radio sales houses – independent & RTÉ who are working together to raise the profile of radio advertising.

JNLR February 2018 – the facts

  1. 83% of people in Ireland listened to the radio yesterday.
  2. On average, in excess of 4 hours is spent with radio every day.
  3. When it comes to any audio listening in Ireland, live radio rules with 87.6%. This compares to 8% of owned music and 3.3% to Spotify.
  4. Radio also dominates when compared with other media – 51% of all adults in Ireland used Social Media yesterday and just 40% read a national newspaper.
  5. 364,000 people in Ireland listened to radio via either a radio station App or the Irish Radioplayer in the last seven days.
  6. Irish radio’s strong on air performance is complemented across its digital platforms with over 9.2 million social connections.