With all the talk about new digital media platforms, it’s easy to forget how powerful traditional platforms such as radio and TV still are. Radio in particular rarely gets credited for what it still is: a true mass medium. According to a recent Nielsen report, radio even trumps TV in terms of its weekly reach.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, an average of 228 million Americans aged 18 and older tuned in to the radio at least once a week, amounting to a reach of nearly 93% of the adult population.
Television came in a close second with a weekly reach of 89 percent, while smartphones expanded their reach from 74 percent in Q4 2015 to 83 percent in 2016.
While radio does win in terms of sheer reach, TV remains unparalleled with respect to average weekly usage. According to Nielsen’s measurements, U.S. adults spent an average of 34 and a half hours a week watching TV in Q4 2016, which is more 2.5 times as much as they spent listening to the radio.