AMS News

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

American Media Services Survey Shows Radio Listenership Remains Consistently Strong and Internet Radio Gaining in Popularity

  • 64% of American adults listen to the radio daily
  • 80% usually turn on the radio when they get in their car
  • 73% are listening the same or more than they did five years ago
  • 39% of Internet radio listeners did so in the past week, up from 23% six months ago
  • 48% expect to listen to radio over the internet in the future, up from 38% six months ago
(CHARLESTON, S.C.) – Sept. 11, 2008 – Although there are some naysayers who still say that radio is losing its value, listening to the radio continues to be part of Americans’ daily life, according to results of a nationwide telephone survey that American Media Services released today. The latest AMS Radio Index shows that 64 percent of American adults listen to the radio at least once a day. Four out of five (80 percent) say they usually turn on the radio when they get into their car, and nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said they are listening to the radio as much or more than they did five years ago. Each of these findings is remarkably consistent with the past three AMS polls over the past two years.

And among those who have listened to Internet radio or continuous music on the Internet, nearly four out of 10 (39 percent) said they listened in the past week, compared with less than a quarter (23 percent) who said that six months ago. While relatively few (20 percent) were familiar with Chrysler’s recent announcement that it can install Internet connections in its 2008 and 2009 vehicles, more than one out of three (37 percent) said they are interested in having an Internet connection in their current vehicle or their next one.

“These are significant findings that once again demonstrate how much Americans rely on the radio for music and entertainment,” said Edward F. Seeger, AMS chairman. “The survey also makes clear that Internet radio and continuous music over the Internet are becoming increasingly important to American audiences.”

Some specifics of the latest American Media Services Radio Index include the following.

Daily listenership was 64 percent in the latest survey, compared with 61 percent this past March, 63 percent in September 2007 and 64 percent in April 2007. The slight variations are within the survey’s margin of error of 3 percentage points.
  • Four out of five (80 percent) said they usually turn on the radio when they get into their car, compared with 73 percent last March, 74 percent a year ago and 75 percent in April 2007.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said they listen to the radio as much or more than they did five years ago, compared with 72 percent last March, 74 percent a year ago and 69 percent in April 2007.
  • Radio remains the Number One way that Americans learn about new music. Nearly half (49 percent) cited the radio, compared with 27 percent from friends, relatives or other word of mouth. Lesser sources included TV and reviews in newspapers or magazines.
  • Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) said it doesn’t matter to them whether their radio program is originating locally. Only 28 percent said it mattered a lot.
  • About half (51 percent) say they usually stay tuned to their favorite music station when commercial breaks come on, a statistically insignificant change from 53 percent six months ago. Only 7 percent said they turn off the radio, and 38 percent said they change to another station
About the survey

The national poll was conducted for AMS by OmniTel, the weekly omnibus survey of GfK Custom Research North America of Princeton, N.J. The telephone survey of 1,005 Americans adults was conducted during the weekend of Sept. 5-7, 2008. The survey is considered accurate within plus or minus 3 percentage points. [Go to to see survey results.

About American Media Services

American Media Services is a full-service radio brokerage, engineering and developmental engineering firm, and its developmental division leads the country in successfully implementing station upgrades by moving them into larger markets, dramatically increasing their value. Since its founding in 1997, AMS has increased the value of 22 stations across the country by $212.6 million, with a corresponding increase in population served of some 25 million. More than $200 million in proposed rulemakings are currently pending before the FCC. In December 2006 AMS launched an affiliate company, American Media Services-Internet LLC, to assist radio station owners and operators on setting up and managing streaming radio sites. For additional information, please visit


HARVE ALAN said...

What percentage of the survey was 18-24 and 25-34? And how do the results differ from those 35+?

Thank you!

Boom Gone Bust said...

Respondents said 51% admit they stay tuned to radio even through all of those commercials and the rest (49%) ARE GONE! Is that right? (49%) are gone! Ok I buy that. The real question is, after the 6th or 7th spot has played, plus all those promos, do listeners have enough recall to remember the advertisers in the first place? I find myself mentally tuning out. I can’t remember and have sat in my car and counted all 8 spots that played in one stop set. That’s 8 interruptions for people who suffer from media over choice and lack of time.

It’s just more bull and hype from radio’s spin doctors. Even radio people don’t really believe it.