Audio by device share % – By age
As of spring 2020, AM/FM and DAB radios accounted for more than half (56%) of audio listening when separated by device. When broken down by age, however, smartphones were the most popular audio device for 15- to 34-year-olds, while DAB radios dominated older generations.
Radio listening habits depend on age, yes, but also differ between ethnicities. Radio is most popular with white audiences, with 81% listening at least once a week. However, only 72% of Asian and black audiences tune in once a week, with minority audiences more likely to agree with the statement ‘I don’t think radio is for people like me.’
4% 5% 5%
Listen to radio at least once a week
All ethnic minority respondents
Mixed race and other respondents
Smartphone AM/FM radio
DAB digital radio
Local radio broadcasters strive to make information accessible to the general population, some of whom are older or belong to vulnerable groups; 93% of blind or partially sighted people listen to the radio,
compared to 90% of UK adults. According to these listeners, radio keeps them ‘in touch with the world.’ Its disappearance would disservice patrons who rely on radio for news as well as entertainment.
Commercial radio stations ranked by weekly reach in the UK as of the first quarter of 2020 (in 1000 listeners)
SOURCES YouGov 2022 Global Media White Paper coverage of music and sport, including at-home concerts and Premier League commentary from Talksport. As of May 2020, Talksport was the fifth most popular commercial radio station, and the most popular commercial sport station in the UK. According to News UK, Talksport surpassed 3.1 million listeners in early 2022. Music remains the preferred aspect of radio, with ‘variety of music’ and ‘to hear music I like’ the most common reasons people listen. Speech, by comparison, attracts 33% of UK adults, with BBC Radio 4 the largest station of this type. During the pandemic, radio provided live MUSIC, SPORT OR SPEECH?
LBC (UK) Talksport
Capital Xtra (UK) Capital London
Virgin Radio Absolute 80s
Heart London Magic (London)
Listeners reached (in 1000s)
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport: Digital Radio and Audio Review
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