BlogPageWelcome to my blog -- Grace's Rantings

I have made a study of human communication -- interpersonal as well as mass media.  I am intrigued by tremendous changes in human interaction in recent years.  The computer, Internet, smart phones and social media have dramatically changed the way we interact with each other.  Human discourse hasn't changed, but the mediums by which we communicate have..."and that has made all the difference".


Please share your thoughts and join in the discussion. I welcome your input and comments!


AM/FM Radio, Satellite and Internet Radio

I have always been a loyal radio listener.  I have had my favorite stations through the years.  Growing up in New Jersey, it was WNEW-FM.  When I moved to New Hampshire, WBCN-FM took over as my top stations, and as formats changed (and I grew older), it became WXRV-FM, The River.  

But, I must confess, for over 10 years I have been an avid XM Satellite Radio listener.  I still listen to the same formats (Classic Vinyl, Deek Tracks and The Spectrum are my go to stations), I just do so without the chatter and commercials.  I am just amazed that everyone doesn't subscribe to Satellite Radio!  I don't find the $14.99 per month onerous.  However, it seems that  most people do.   According to Pew Research, good ol' AM/FM radio is still the standard.  

  • 91% of all people aged 12+ in the US listen to AM/FM radio. This is down just slightly from 96% in 2001.  
  • 236 million people listen to AM/FM terrestrial radio on a daily basis!  
  • By comparison, SiriusXM has 29 million listeners in the US (up only 3.8% from 2008)

And so, while it has its fans (myself included), Satellite Radio currently is not a big threat to terrestrial radio.


However, Internet Radio may very well be.  Internet radio (including on-line stations, Pandora, Spotify and even the SiriusXM has an Internet radio service) is growing rapidly.  A study by Edison Research reports that:

  • Online radio reaches 94 million listeners weekly.  
  • In 2003 only 8% of the population listened to online radio.  
  • In 2014 this jumped to 36% -- A 350% increase in listenership!

While 94 million is only 40% of AM/FM's 236 million, more revealing is the demographics on on-line radio listenership: 

  • 36% of all adults listen to online radio,but
  • 64% of those aged 12-24 listen to online radio
  • 37% of adults aged 25-54 listen to online radio
  • 13% of older adults aged 55+ listen to online radio

Obviously this will become a situation for terrestrial radio in the not so distant future.

And while most radio listening occurs in the car -- 42%, this is not necessarily going to help AM/FM radio stations.

Cars are beginning to come equiped with Internet connectivity.  Yet, even without Internet ready cars, on-line listenership in cars via cell phones is also on the rise.  

  • In 2010 only 6% of online listeners in cars did so via cell phones
  • In 2014 this jumped to 26%


  • 43% of persons aged 12-24 listen to online radio in the car through their cell phone
  • 27% of adults 25-54 do so, and only
  • 10% of older adults 55+ listen to online radio in their car via their cell phone

Radio listenership is changing rapidly and this is not a positive trend for good ol' AM/FM radio.

While video didn't kill radio, online services may very well do it.




For additional reading:

Millennials and Television

Television is still king among Millennials...but perhaps not for long...


I read an interesting report from Adroit Digital on Millennials and brand loyalty. (You can download it here). Millennials are indeed brand loyal and a vital demographic for marketers as they are the largest demographic in US History numbering 80 million.

What I found interesting is that:

70% of Millennials say that television is the medium with the most influence on how they perceive a brand.  Pretty good for television, right?

But 60% of Millennials (and 66% of Millennial Women) said that social media was the most influential medium for them.  It won't be long before social media overtakes television as the most influential medium.

As for other mediums,

Online Display Advertising was the most influential for 42% of Millennials (but 66% for the younger 18-25 year olds!),

Online video was most influential for 39%, and

Mobile for 33% of Millennials

What about other traditional media?  Magazines came in at 31%, Radio 21% and Billboards 21%.  Print wasn't even included in the survey!!  Now that is saying something.

Radio is Everywhere

If you know me, or have been following this blog, you know I am a proponent of radio.  I've written on the reported demise of radio and the strength of radio.

I recently came upon some statistics from Nielsen's Audio today report from February 2014.  It seems that:

  • Over 92% of all persons age 12+ in the US, listen to radio each week -- over 242 million people.
  • Radio listeners, listen for more than 2 1/2 hours every day.
  • The majority of radio listeners (over 67%) are employed full time, and the majority of listening is away from home.
  • 65.2 million Millenials (90%) listen to radio each week.

What are your thoughts and experiences with radio?  When do you listen?  What do you listen to?

Reaching the Working Mother

I have come across some interesting statistics on the media habits of working mothers, both traditional and digital media.  Working mothers are defined as women working full time who have a child (or children) under 18 at home.  These women tend to be more highly educated and have a higher household income than their stay at home counterparts.

A study done by Scarborough found that:

  • 46% of working mothers read the local news section of the daily papers
  • 40% watch local television morning news
  • 39% watch local evening news and 24% watch local late news.  (These lower number aren’t surprising as they are most likely helping with homework and/or preparing dinner during the evening news and in bed during the late news!)
  • Two diversely different cable networks are favorites among working mothers who are 22% more likely than the non-working mother to have watched HGTV during the past 7 days, and 24% more likely to have watched ESPN.

Working mothers also interact with traditional media’s digital platforms.

  • They are 21% more likely than the average mother to have visited a radio station website in the past 30 days, and
  • 12% more likely to have visited a broadcast TV website in that period.

Regarding social media, A report by She Knows and Harris Interactive shows that the social media habits of working mothers tend to be more in line with those of the millennial generation.


  • Both Millennials and working mothers have wide networks on twitter and Instagram.
  • Both report having as many twitter followers as Facebook friends.
  • Working mothers have twice as many twitter followers as stay at home moms and 4 times as many Instagram followers.
  • Neither group has as many Pinterest followers as older women and/or stay at home moms.

And so it seems that both traditional and digital/social media is important to working mothers and an advertiser needs to use both to reach this elusive market.

Television Viewership Trends

Nielsen’s has recently released their First Quarter 2013 analysis of television viewing, and they report that traditional television viewing young adults, aged 18-24 continues to decline.


The rate of decline is still slight – about 11 minutes less in Q1 2013 than in Q1 2012.  These 11 minutes represents about 5% of their total viewing time.  But, if we compare Q1 2013 with Q1 2011, the young adult viewership has declined 3 hours per week (approximately 26 minutes per day) over 2 years.  This is an 11% decline.  And the trend shows no sign of stopping.

Viewership is also down by approximately 5% over 2 years in the 25-34 and 35-49 year demographics although these groups are still watching more television than younger viewers.  I thought this chart which shows the same data in a more visual format is really strong:


So where are all the television viewers going?  Not surprisingly, the study also highlights that the heaviest streaming video users are the lightest television viewers.  However, on average these heavy streamers stream 27 minutes per day and continue to view just over 4 hours (243 minutes) of traditional television per day.

Another trend to watch is the steady decline in cable television subscriptions.  This decline is growing faster than anticipated, and was 1.08 million subscribers last year.

However, all is not doom and gloom for television.  Among young adults, the average television viewership is still slightly over 23 hours per week, compared with 2 ½ hours of viewing for internet and or mobile phone video.

So while television is still king in that it still commands the most hours of media consumption, its dominance is slowly eroding.

And as these 18-24 year olds move into the older demographics, will they continue to watch less television, or will their habits change to be more like those of the current older adults?

Big Changes Ahead for Radio

With summer approaching, my thoughts turn to the beach and to remembering how we used to bring our transistor radios with us and listen to top 40 music on AM radio.

Then along came the 80’s and kids began to lug around huge boom boxes to play the radio and cassette tapes.

Well today’s youth have their own music preferences which will bring some radical changes to radio as we know it.  Today’s younger listeners are opting for Internet radio like Pandora and iHeartRadio on their smart phones.

Billboard reports that these Internet radio services account for 23% of radio listening time for consumers aged 13-35.  (This is up from 17% last year.  This is an increase of 35% in just one year!)  Digital mp3 files comprised 15%, and Spotify and other on-demand services accounted for 14%.  With satellite radio listening at 5%, and CDs at less than 10%, AM/FM radio listening was actually less than 25% of all listening in this age group.

In contrast, and not surprisingly, of listeners over age 35, AM/FM radio made up 40 of their listening, and internet radio just 13%.

As the 13-35 year olds age, will they switch back to AM/FM radio?  Doubtful

Internet Radio is Going Strong!

Fairly recently I started listening to music on Pandora.  I like it because Pandora presents me with a variety of music and allows me to hear new songs that I actually like!  I feel that it has opened me up to new artists who I wouldn't have otherwise heard.

When listening to the radio (terrestrial and/or satellite radio), I tend to stick to the stations and formats I like, thereby limiting myself to music I am comfortable with (generally classic rock with some softer alternative thrown in).  Pandora really mixes up my playlists and exposes me to far more than I would ever discover on my own.

Well it turns out that I am merely 1 out of 200 million who have discovered Pandora!

Are Millennials Reading Newspapers?

Yes, it seems that Millennials do indeed read newspapers, although not regularly.

According to the Pew State of Media Study, as reported by NPR Research, 23% of Millennials aged 18-24 reported having read a physical newspaper yesterday.  However, these Millennials are not frequent or regular newspaper readers.

As the following chart shows, while 27% of Millennials have read a newspaper 1-3 times in the past month, but only 8% are regular readers, having read a newspaper 25 times or more per month.  Looking at all adults, 40% can be defined as heavy readers, having read a paper at least every other day (16 or more times a month), while only 22% of those aged 18-24 are heavy newspaper readers.

[caption id="attachment_642" align="alignnone" width="416" caption="NPR Audience Insight & Research"]

Additionally, these heavy newspaper readers are 75% more likely than light or non readers to hold a graduate degree, and to be Influential in their communities.  And so, these newspaper reading young adults are a desirable audience for marketers.

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