Radio Use Shrinks; Concert Industry Faltering

This slide shows that radio usage in a 24 hr. period has dropped from 2:43 in 2000 to 1 hr. 24 minutes in 2010. Conversely, Internet usage has expanded from 59 minutes, to 2:52 in 2010. Time spent reading magazines and newspapers has fallen. TV use has grown slightly.

Radio’s Future II: The 2010 American Youth Study conducted by Edison Research and sponsored by contains a multitude of slides showing changes in attitude toward radio and other media since the study was conducted a decade ago in 2000. Results are based upon 1,533 interviews nationwide, split almost evenly between age 12-24 demo and age 22-34 demo. While this sequel to the 2000 study measures large changes in media and radio use there are also some interesting slides that do not concern radio.

For example, it is not surprising that cell phone ownership increased from 29% in 2000 to 81% in 2010. Of the 81%, 43% say theirs is a smart phone. When the age 12-24 group was asked how often they read a printed newspaper, 58% said, “Never” and 28% answered “sometimes.”

When asked “How many concerts you attended in the last year?” it became clear that the current economy has not bolstered attendance. In 2000 24% of 12-24s went to three or more concerts and 43% said, “none.” In 2010 only 12% said “three or more,” and 64% replied “none.” In 2000 the mean was 2.1 concerts attended, but ten years later the 2010 mean is .9.

The study also addresses the growth of Internet radio streams and apps such as Pandora. In its recommendations it suggests, “Send more stations after these demos or watch them fade away–the consumer and the advertisers still see radio as a youth medium–why don’t the owners? Claim Internet audio or lose it. It can’t be just your over-the-air product. It must be a font of innovation. Learn from what is driving Pandora.”

This graph shows the steady decline in album sales over the 10 year period, falling from 785 million to 2000 to 380 million in 2009.


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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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