Radio: the Medium Reaching 92% of Americans Weekly

by | 2 minute read

Have you ever wondered just how influential radio is? Well, according to Nielsen’s Audio Today 2019 report, 92% of Americans listen to the radio every single week. That’s 272 million people over the age of six; a larger, steadier number than TV, mobile, or digital.


That percentage gets higher when you zero in on age groups with buying power. Nielsen says that radio reaches 96% of adults ages 18 to 34 and 99% of 25- to 54-year-olds on a monthly basis. Overall, 98% of U.S. adults listen to the radio monthly.

When and Where?

Radio reaches more people during the week than on weekends. Prime radio listening time for U.S. adults is between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Why’s that? You probably guessed it: The majority of radio consumption is done out-of-home. During a typical weekday workday, 73% of radio listening happens when the listener is away from home, and 63% of that out-of-home listening occurs in the car. Another 35% of out-of-home listening takes place at work. Comparatively, 64% of weekend radio consumption occurs out-of-home and almost all of it (79%) happens while driving.

Favorite Stations

As expected, most radio listeners have favorite radio stations that are network-affiliated. These stations reach more than 90% of Americans in all age groups on a weekly basis. What kind of stations are these? The top station type among Americans over the age of 12 is country. It’s the preferred station type of U.S. adults in general, both men and women. However, when broken out by ethnic or racial groups, Hispanics prefer Mexican regional stations and African Americans tune in to urban adult contemporary the most.

Round out your radio ad pitch to your clients with information from AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. There, you’ll find 16 different radio-based audience profiles, detailing demographic information, purchase intent, and research on the most effective advertising methods for each.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.