For years, I’ve heard people say “radio is dead!” and while I’ve always been quick to dispute it, I’m excited to share new research that confirms that radio is in fact, alive, well, and thriving.

I’ve had past clients question interview opportunities with radio stations and shows — and rightfully so. You want to make sure that doing an interview on a local or national radio station is actually worth your time because at the end of the day, what matters is, are people actually listening?

New research confirms what I’ve always felt about radio: radio wins when it comes to “share of ear”. A new study from the Edison Institute, a media research company, confirmed that terrestrial radio continues to hold the largest percentage of listenership among Americans 13+  with a whopping 42% of the market share!  Streaming audio platforms came in next at 17%, followed by owned music (10%), YouTube (10%), SiriusXM (9%), and podcasts (5%).

When it comes to securing media placements, radio is a great option and opportunity to take your message to the masses. If you’re wondering if there is value in doing a radio media interview for your brand, company, book, or cause, think about a few factors in addition to this new research:

  1. Understanding Your Target Audience – Who is your target audience and what are they listening to? If you’re not sure, simply create a post on social media and ask your audience where their ears are hanging out. Maybe it is actually podcasts. If it is radio, what kind of stations and shows? NPR? Your local news / talk station? A morning drive show? An urban station or show?
  2. Do Your Research – There are countless radio stations and shows covering various topics and genres, not to mention shows that simulcast in multiple markets. Do your research on (or have your Virtual Assistant conduct research) on shows that cover topics aligned with your expertise and brand.  
  3. Actually LISTEN –  When you’re trying to identify the right space for your brand, you need to get a feel of their coverage, topics, commentary, music, and more. Who else have hosts recently interviewed?  How long were those interviews?  Do they typically allow listeners to call-in with questions?  In order to better understand radio and figure out if a station is a good fit for you, your audience, and potentially a good place for you to do an interview, you need to listen.  If the station in question isn’t in your area, you can easily find their live streams online through their parent company sites (iHeart, Westwood One, Entercom, etc.)
  4. For Me, It’s NPR All Day, Every Day – This last point is more of a personal thought than a tip, but I am familiar with the NPR audience because I am a loyal listener (hi, WAMU!). NPR listeners are educated and invested listeners. They will take action if they hear a guest that resonates with them. NPR conducts excellent in-depth and longer-form guest interviews and will take call-ins from the audience, which adds value for a potential guest!  

Not sure where to start when it comes to radio? Turn to RadioOnline, which details top-ranked stations broken down by category in each market.

Bottom line: I heart radio (no pun intended!) and you should, too.