Though Digital Alternatives Grow, Traditional Radio Still Strong
Without a doubt, many substitutes to traditional radio are growing in popularity – Satellite radio, Podcasting and Streaming audio through cell phones as well as broadband-based distribution all have contributed to small, but steady erosion of listening to traditional broadcast radio.
Similar to TV, even in the face of competition, traditional radio is still the best way to reach the most consumers with an audio message. Some digital audio options may represent a more targeted way to reach certain consumers, but if your priority is to reach lots of people, traditional radio is still your best bet.
For the foreseeable future, Radio will have a few “incumbent” advantages:
- There is a radio in every vehicle in the U.S. (which is where the most listening occurs).
- Most Americans still commute to work (so they will maintain a daily habit of listening).
- Local programming (especially News, Traffic & Weather) are available only through local broadcast radio outlets.
There are certainly shifts happening that could neutralize some or all of these advantages, but they will take many years to supplant traditional radio.