There are 33 radio stations in Boston. Each provides a unique format of news, sports, music, entertainment, and inspiration. Some stations broadcast in English. Others serve Spanish speakers. Some stations cater to millennials. Others appeal to Baby Boomers. No doubt, there is a local radio station that fulfills the preferences of every listener.
Each week, according to Nielsen, 3.3 million adults tune-in to their favorite Boston radio stations. This is more people than watch local TV, cable, or streaming channels. This is more than use Facebook and Instagram. This is more than read newspapers or connect to Pandora and Spotify.
Despite the abundance of Boston radio stations to choose between, Nielsen reports that, on average, adult consumers only listen to 2.5 each week. So, which stations do local consumers choose?
According to Nielsen, among all adults, the Boston radio stations that are tuned-in most are formatted for all news, adult contemporary music, and pop-contemporary music.
Segmenting for adult men only, the types of radio tuned-in to look a bit different. News stations hold a greater attraction while classic rock and sports stations move up the list of favorites.
There is a visible gender difference when comparing what men listen to and the Boston radio stations women select. Female listeners have less interest in news stations and are more likely to favor adult-contemporary or pop-contemporary-hit formats.
Every week, more millennials, too, are reached by Boston radio than all other media. Reaching this generation is critical to the success of many advertising campaigns because it accounts for almost one-third of all local consumer spending.
Compared to the overall adult audience, millennial listeners have a greater affinity for radio stations that offer pop-contemporary-hit music as well as rhythmic-adult-contemporary music.
Radio's continued reach superiority among Boston adults is fueled by in-car listening. According to a study by Edison Research, AM/FM stations are still the overwhelming choice of media for drivers.
In addition to dominance on the dashboard, listeners are also using newer technologies to access their favorite Boston radio stations.
Edison Research has found that, currently, 10% of all listening to local radio happens on streaming devices. This has doubled in just the past six years.
According to Triton Digital, a company that measures online audio use, 22% of all AM/FM radio streaming occurs on smart speakers. These devices include Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Forty-eight percent of streamed listening to AM/FM radio happens on mobile devices such as iPhones and Android devices. The remainder of listening happens on other devices including, desktop computers and tablets.
Audiences for many media have splintered as technology allows choices to multiply. Boston radio listeners, however, remain loyal as they discover new ways to access their favorite stations across a variety of devices.
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