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Radio remains main channel for audio consumption although on-demand audio is increasing, RAB research finds

Radio remains the most popular channel for consuming audio content among consumers, according to research by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), although on-demand listening has sent overall listening figures up.

Figures: The Radio Advertising Bureau has released research

The research found that radio accounts for 70 per cent of listening time for consumers while on-demand content increased the weekly reach of the radio audience from 1,395 million hours in 2012 to 1,472 million hours in 2014.

In addition, the research identified six ‘need states’ which people tailor their radio listening for, such as escapism, lifting a mood, providing ‘social currency’ and broadening horizons. The research found that the varying need states affected the kind of audio people consume although live radio remained the main format for consuming it.

Mark Barber, planning director at Rab, said: The increased commercial reach offered by the new audio landscape offers new, potent opportunities to advertisers. It’s heartening to see that in the face of evolving platforms and technology, radio retains its unique appeal for listeners.”

Les Binet of Adam & Eve DDB added that advertisers should take more consideration over the value of audio.

“Audio can play an important role not just in ‘activation’ campaigns but also in longer-term brand-building activity, making it a highly valuable medium and something which advertisers should not undervalue,” he said.

The research found the on-demand listening was far higher among younger people, accounting for 19 per cent of their total weekly listening compared to just seven per cent in 25 and above age group.

Recent Rajar figures revealed that Bauer Radio – which owns a host of national and local radio channels such as Absolute Radio, Magic and Kiss – now receives more than half of its audio traffic via digital radio rather than analogue.

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Angela Haggerty

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