Sunday, October 01, 2006

Digital Radio | Australian Youth Tuning in More to Overnight Radio

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News wonders why more than one in ten Australians are tuning in to commercial radio between midnight and dawn each week – and they’re younger and listening for longer than ever before. Those are the findings of the latest, annual Midnight to Dawn survey conducted by Nielsen Media for Commercial Radio Australia.

The fastest trend in audience growth is the 10 -17 age group. More than six per cent up on last year to nine per cent of total radio listeners today. On average, this age group listened to commercial radio for four and a half hours between midnight and dawn each week – over an hour longer than the average across all groups.

The next fastest trend is the 18-24 years group. One in five tune into commercial radio between midnight and dawn, for an average of almost three hours a week. That is 30 mins more than last year's survey showed.

Is Australia becoming the land of young insomniacs?

Commercial Radio Australia CEO, Joan Warner, said the notion that only the elderly and the lonely listened to radio between midnight and 5.30am was being turned on its head.

“This latest survey shows that radio has increased its relevancy to young people despite the presence of other media and technology such as the internet, iPods and interactive television,” Ms Warner said.

“This is good news for radio stations across Australia and reflects the general trend of young people listening more to radio and for longer periods of time,” Ms Warner said.

Ms Warner said analysis of the research shows that time spent listening for both age groups (10-17 years and 18-24 years) between midnight to dawn is at it highest level in three years.

The largest listening group between midnight and dawn remains the 55+ age group, with 522,000 people tuning in each week, accounting for 31 per cent of the audience. The next largest group of listeners in this timeslot is the 25-39 years old who account for 25 per cent of the audience and 422,000 people.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that the midnight to dawn shift attracts more than 1.7 million people per week with the average time spent listening of three hours and 22 minutes. Of those people listening to radio at this time 62 per cent listen at home, 20 per cent at work, 16 per cent in their car and two per cent elsewhere.

The Nielsen media survey did not answer the question of "why" more youngsters were listening to overnight radio other than by CRA saying it was more relevant. Could it be that youngsters were plain bored and couldn't sleep or worried or a host of other reasons? None the less, it is good news for the commercial radio broadcasters.

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