Radio still important to teens

The number of youngsters listening to the radio is on the up, with digital technology helping to secure an audience for our industry, according to RadioCentre research realeased today.
The new report looks at the relationship these Digital Natives have with radio and what it means for the future of the medium.

Digital technology and the choice it offers has a significant effect on how younger people perceive and consume the more established media, but far from being a threat, this report shows that digital technology is both increasing the availability of radio and helping to redefine its role in younger people’s lives.
Despite the plethora of media now available to younger people, the scale of radio listening amongst this demographic remains extraordinarily strong: 88 per cent (7 million) of 15-24 year olds tune into the medium every week (RAJAR Q4 2007), and 72 per cent, according to RadioCentre research, of this age group claim that radio is a part of their daily routine.
Audience trend data demonstrates that the younger audience regularly listening to radio is actually increasing and that they are more likely to listen to commercial stations than to the BBC whose listeners are biased to the older age groups.
The role of the iPod in younger people’s lives is also enhancing the relevance of radio and is seen by them as a complementary technology. Whilst the devices could be seen as competing for “share of ear”, the portability of both radio and mp3 devices means that there is more listening time available. In addition, radio is still the top source for discovering new music amongst 15-24 year olds with 69 per cent agreeing that “radio gives me ideas of what I want to load on my iPod/mp3 player”.
Andrew Harrison, chief executive of RadioCentre said: “We repeatedly hear the claims that this demographic is too busy to listen to the radio but RAJAR and our own research says otherwise – digital technology is enhancing the relevance of radio, particularly commercial radio, for younger audiences and is helping to build a secure future for the medium.”
Alison Winter, head of audience insight at the RadioCentre added: “This age group are part of a world where digital TV, broadband and downloading music from the internet is commonplace. The fact that they still value the same aspects of radio that audiences always have done suggests that structurally, the medium will retain its relevance and value to them both now and as their lives change.”
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