Contrary to Some Reports, Radio is Still Not Dead

To hear tech and techy people talk about it, radio is dead. No one listens anymore. Well, they don’t listen and none of their friends do. Or so they say.

But those sorts of folks live in a bubble. The truth is that commercial over-the-air radio is (a) still insanely profitable; (b) has audiences in the hundreds of millions every week; and (c) is still an excellent place to discover new music.

“Bullshit!” the tech-and-techy people will say. “Everyone gets their music via streaming and YouTube!”

Well, no, actually.  And there are plenty of numbers that will back this up. Check out this post from Digital Trends.

With such an abundance of digital music services to choose from — iTunes, Spotify, YouTube et al — you might think radio’s days are numbered, but it’s still the number one way that we discover new music, according to the latest statistics released by Nielsen.

The data shows that 51 percent of music consumers in the U.S. find new tunes through radio, with 243 million of adults aged 12 and over tuning in every week. The figures have been tweaked slightly, with online radio streams bundled in with traditional car stereos and AM/FM sets, but it still leaves the venerable radio station as the most popular way of finding new music.

Like the Monty Python bit in Holy Grail:  “I’m not dead yet.”  Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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