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Audience Migration to Radio Streams Is Accelerating, Group Heads Say

By: Mary White    June 8, 2023

Will digital broadcast radio listening eclipse the over-the-air (OTA) signal? Beasley Media Group’s CEO predicts her company’s total digital audio audience will exceed the legacy OTA listenership within the next several years. The company is seeing more of its audience going to digital.

In findings from Edison Research in Q3 2022, 12% of persons ages 13+ listen to online audio, while 88% are still using a traditional AM/FM receiver. However, the online portion went up to 20% among persons ages 25-54, with men driving a larger growth versus women ages 25-54. In just this past year, men’s streaming share jumped from 18% to 28%, while women’s listenership share remained steady since 2020.

Beasley Media Group is a multi-platform media company. When it talks about the company’s digital audience, it is talking about the total audience for all the content it has. That content includes text-based articles, video and audio across station websites, and apps. Its OTA cumulative audience is currently 16 million, which has dropped from 20 million since before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its total audience across all platforms has grown to 28 million. More than half (57%) of its audience comes from OTA, and the company is seeing a continuous shift.

Beasley Media Group believes that selling OTA and digital together, based on audience impressions instead of the cost per point, will be a difference-maker in helping elevate radio’s share of the ad pie.

Another large audio media group, Townsquare Media, says one of its biggest online listenership shifts has been seen with increases in Alexa and Google home devices. The company is predicting that the share of broadcast radio listening online will double during the next four years.