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U.S. Radio Industry - Statistics & Facts

Radio is one of the most powerful mediums in the United States, with a weekly reach of around 82.5 percent among adults. There are over 15,445 radio stations in the U.S., all competing for a piece of this massive market. WTOP, a station operating out of Washington D.C. is the largest of its kind in the U.S., pulling in 62 million U.S. dollars in yearly revenue. Online radio is also playing an increasing role in the radio market, with an estimated 974 minutes spent listening to online radio on a monthly basis in 2021.

Radio stations in the U.S.

IHeartRadio is the biggest online radio company in the United States by a significant margin, boasting an average active sessions figure over 390 thousand. American radio stations generated total revenue of over 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, of which 940 million dollars was generated through online radio streaming. In addition to the massive national stations and broadcasts, local public radio stations also appear to be thriving. Public radio station revenue has decreased from around 12.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 to an estimated 11.7 billion in 2021. ‘Country’ is by far the most popular format, with 2,200 individual stations broadcasting music from this genre. As of 2020, Americans averaged 99 minutes of radio listening time per day, with much of this time being spent while commuting.

Radio advertising

The continuous presence of advertising on radio, heard in cars as well as in public areas, is an incentive for many businesses to invest in this medium of advertising. Local radio digital advertising amounted to over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in the United States in 2021, with the retail and communications industries being the largest radio advertisers, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on radio advertising each year. Advertising revenue often keeps traditional formats afloat, and is greatly important not just for radio but also for magazines, newspapers, and TV, but also for music streaming services like Spotify.

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