The Pandemic Caused a Permanent Change in Radio Listening
I was doing some research on the future of radio listening and found some very interesting facts. Some recent studies done by Civic Science really opened my eyes. Their studies have shown that 44% of people who listen to radio have changed their habits over the past 12 months. People are now listening to audio content via internet streaming not regular standard old school FM radio, They are also listening different times during the day. Podcast listening has increased. While 20% say they listen more often, 34% say they are listening less often.
A reason why traditional FM radio listening has decreased is that since the pandemic, less people are using their cars to commute to work. This is where most traditional FM radio listening occurs. More are working from home and listening from a mobile device, app or on their computer. They have lots of choices and don't have to rely on the very limited choices of today's terrestrial radio stations .
The times that people listen has also changed. Traditional radio always had the most listeners in the morning. On Edgewater Gold Radio, the largest amount of listeners listen from 10:00 am - 1:00pm eastern time.
Radio is changing dramatically due to the streaming alternative. If traditional radio wants to survive, they need a way to lure listeners back. The corporations buying up all of the FM stations and destroying any creativity and creating a cookie cutter empty wasteland will not do it!
Look for either a shut off of FM radio or a complete re-purposing in the not too distant future. We are already seeing it as talk and news stations are moving their programming to FM. I predict that music on FM will eventually go away and some stations will also be gone! The worst thing that happened to this medium is when Ronald Reagan in the 80' de-regulated radio. Until then only one company or person could own only one AM, FM and TV station in one market.Programming was creative, competitive and catered more to the listeners than to the advertisers. The de-regulation approved by Reagan and implemented by the FCC allows one company such as I-Heart, Audacy etc. to buy up any radio stations they wanted to in a particular market, hire consultants and turn them into anemic shadows of what they were. Keep watching this space!