Music to the ears: live radio thrives despite streaming

Despite competition from on-demand music and streaming services, nine out of 10 Irish people still listen to live radio every day.

Commission by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI), the first comprehensive research of the audio landscape in Ireland has found that 91% of Irish people listen to the radio every day, with radio listening outstripping other forms of audio between 7am until 7pm.

In a typical day, more time is spent listening to live radio than any other form of audio (54.3%). This followed by own music (21.5%), You Tube for music (9.3%), streamed music (8.6%) and listen back radio (6.3%) Access to news and information (27%), music (29%) and companionship (16%) were the main attractions for radio.

With other forms of audio, 46% like to choose what they want to listen to, 8% to listen to specific songs or musical genres and 7% because of ease of access and convenience.

A total of 78% of people consider music to be a key component in the radio mix and they continue to listen to audio via traditional FM radio.

The study found that the main reasons people listen to the radio for to stay informed, to gather new ideas or opinions and to have something to talk about with friends and family. The top reasons for choosing other forms of audio are to create or add atmosphere, to relax and unwind and to escape the daily grind.

People like radio for music, news and current affairs, discussion debates, variety, presenter personalities and the escape from life’s pressures.

However, other people like other forms of audio because of the element of personal choice, access to their own playlist, preference for podcasts or CDs, the variety of music it offers and the lack of advertising.

CEO of Today FM and director of the IBI Peter McPartlin said the survey clearly showed the ongoing love affair Irish people have with the radio.

“This survey confirms the strength of Irish commercial radio and its dominance as an important source of information, music, news, current affairs and entertainment for the Irish public. Despite the growth and access to new media devices and music apps there hasn’t been the impact on the audience to radio as some might have thought,” he said.

Mr McPartlin pointed out that radio can compete and co-exist comfortably with other forms of audio.

“The most important aspect of this survey however, is it confirms the complementary nature of radio and other forms of audio. Radio and streaming services comfortably co-exist side by side, fulfilling different roles in people’s lives. The power of radio and the loyalty of the public to Irish radio stations is still hugely significant for advertisers,” he said.


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