Radio Facts & Figures


According to Pew Research Center, traditional AM/FM radio continues to reach the overwhelming majority of the American public. Audio as a platform is stronger than ever as more and more ways to listen continue to emerge.

News/talk/information stations are one of the most popular broadcast radio formats, with a 9.6% share of listeners among the age 12 and up in 2017. Online radio listener-ship in cars has drastically increased to 40% of U.S. cell phone owners listening in 2017.


271 Million

Americans, ages 6+, listen to radio each week

  • 93% of Americans listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves, which is higher than TV viewership (89%), PC use (50%), smartphone use (83%), and tablet use (37%)
  • 67 Million Millenials, those born between 1980 and 1996, use radio each week
  • Digital radio listenership has increased dramatically from 12% of Americans, ages 12+, listening weekly in 2007 to 53% in 2017


Top Formats

  • Country
  • News/Talk

Millenials (born between 1980 and 1996)

  • More than 67.8 million Millenials use radio each week
  • 92% of them are reached weekly by radio

Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979)

  • Nearly 58 Million use radio weekly
  • 95% of them is reached weekly by radio

Boomers (born between 1950 and 1964)

  • 58 Million listen to radio each week
  • 94% of them are reached weekly by radio


in 1995, researcher Thomas Ebbinghaus did a study on people’s ability to retain information. He called the results the “Curve of Forgetfulness.” Ebbinghaus found that a person forgets 75% of what he or she has learned in the previous week. After three weeks, he/she forgets 90%. After four weeks, he/she forgets 95%. The Ebbinhaus study is an illustration of retentiveness; the brain retains information it considers important to the individual and “forgets” information not deemed relevant. In therms of advertising, it is crucial for the advertiser to make the message important enough for the individual to want to retain it and act on it. – The Arbitron Company, Beyond The Ratings