Some People Still Listen to Radio

Who knew? According to the New York Times, people are listening to a lot less radio than they were ten years ago. It surprises me that they’re still listening at all. But apparently, radio has slipped a lot more when it comes to college graduates:

Over the last decade, college graduates ages 25-54, who make up an increasingly large portion of the population, have abandoned radio eight times faster than nongraduates. Today, they listen to 15 hours and 45 minutes of radio a week, while their peers without degrees listen to 21 hours and 15 minutes weekly.

A pointless graphic in the piece points out that weekly radio listening has decreased 240 minutes among folks with a degree while it’s only decreased 30 minutes among non-graduates. The article blames the discrepency on the types of jobs people do, but I wonder how much it has do with iPods…

How many hours of radio do you listen to per week? I’d estimate that I listen to approximately one hour of commercial radio per week. If you include NPR, it probably jumps to 10-12 hours per week. I listen to my iPod approximately 25-30 hours per week.

Video: Elvis Costello and The Beastie Boys – “Radio, Radio” (Live on SNL, 1999)

15 thoughts on “Some People Still Listen to Radio”

  1. I actually think that the it does have quite a bit to do with your job. Take a walk on any construction jobsite or into any mechanic’s garage, and they’ll probably have a radio going. In some jobs like that, you *really* wouldn’t want to be wearing some kind of wire or headphones, and your iPod would be at constant risk of impact. Then there are guys who drive trucks that only have radios, or people who work in large communal areas where even if you brought your iPod and had an amplification system for it, it’s kind of pretentious to decide that everybody’s going to listen to *your* music now. Why not just have a cheap radio sitting around instead?

  2. I listen to the radio, but ZERO of it is music. News and sports. Otherwise, I have my iPod and Sirius (which really is great). Every time I try to listen to FM radio (rental cars, eg.) I end up saying “WTF???, There is NO decent music on this thing” Every. time.

  3. None. I listen to no radio whatsoever. I’d listen to NPR if I ever drove anywhere, but I don’t so…. Guess I miss out on all the fun, huh?

  4. I listen to MAYBE 1 hour of radio a week, and its AM — ESPN Radio in the morning (gotta love Mike & Mike!).

    I listen to my iPod approximately 50 hours a week.

    LionIndex, I think that your reasoning is invalid given the widespread availability of (affordable) iPod dock stereos. Do I believe mechanics in Bumfuck, Iowa are sitting at home loading their favorite .38 Special tracks onto their iPod for work in the morning? No. But I think the iPod docks have replaced a lot of stereos, for people savvy enough to have an iPod in the first place. I’m listening to one at work as we speak, and the people around me can go fuck themselves if they’re not down with Daedelus.

  5. I understand that the iPod decks are out there, but it’s still a hell of a lot easier to just buy a radio. My point was that I do actually go out on construction sites for my job–haven’t seen an iPod yet. I also haven’t seen an iPod in any kind of car mechanic shop. Pretty much anyplace I go where there’s music playing, it’s either radio or Muzak (i.e. some sort of programmed subscriber music, not just elevator music–Muzak is actually a company name). I think for the most part, people who listen to iPods at work are in cubicle farms.

  6. We just bought my 62 year old father-in-law a shuffle for his birthday. Dude doesn’t own a computer and has no idea how this all works but he was amazed and overjoyed at the idea of hundreds of songs (of his choosing)at his finger tips. Now we just refresh his playlist whenever he visits. Best gift we’ve given a parent since I bought my folks a web cam.

  7. I listen to the radio from 6:12 to 6:30 each morning, M-F. So I’d listen for about 90 minutes a week. And I still tend to hear a few songs that I hate (Note to Sonic 102.9: please stop playing stuff by Finger 11. Seriously.).

    In my office environment, music (esp headphones) tends to be a no-no among the professionals. I can rock the speakers / mp3 player on weekends but not during regular office hours. However, among the office services staff (huge generalization alert: interns or soccer moms with some level of community college training) the local lite rock or new country stations tend to be pretty popular.

    I just bought my 61-year-old mother an 8 GB mp3 player. She seems to love it, and I hold exclusive dominion over her playlist as she doesn’t own a computer :-)

  8. I listen to NPR for the AM/PM commute. If they are doing fundraising or if they’re off the air for whatever reason, I’ll switch it over to a commercial station and, on ocassion, I’l make a prank phone call to one of the morning shows and try to get on the air. Whenever I get into the car after my wife, I notice that she’s left in on on of the local rock stations. After hearing the new Finger 11 song and a “classic” from Stone Temple Pilots, I usually shut the fucking thing off.

  9. i don’t really listen to the radio much as i didn’t have access to it before. now with the zune i still don’t listen much because it drains the battery down. but if i did listen to the radio i’d be a happy camper. the fm station i listen to play the best music. lots of old 80’s college music,, alternative, aaa, etc. you name it they’ve probably played it.

  10. Sadly, unless I’m in a cab or a friend’s car, I listen to no radio whatsoever. However, all my friends who drive on a regular basis do listen to the airwaves, regardless of whether they own an iPod or not. (Most do.) This may be the only time they listen to the radio.

    Oh, and even though they may be up on current music, almost all listen to the classic rock station. (“Won’t Get Fooled Again” may be insanely overplayed but it’s still great drivin’ music.)

  11. You poor people. Here in Chicago, we have college stations WZRD, WLUW, WNUR. I can’t imagine where I would have heard the last 5 new things I discovered without these stations. The internet is too wide open. It’s either forums like this where everyone listens to the same things I’ve already heard of or forums like Myspace or Youtube with too much content and no filter. I need radio to push a steady stream of music I have no control over.

  12. college radio is big here as well. it’s one of the two best stations around. the other one isn’t college affiliated and still plays some pretty killer tunes.

  13. This is fantastic news!

    When the millenials(those born after 1980) read this they’ll avoid radio careers like the plague. This will dilute the shallow talent pool

    even more, practically guaranteeing me a cushy radio job for another dozen years.

    By that time I’ll be ready to stroke out from sitting on my fat ass all day.

    Please refer this article to anyone you know who is even considering a radio career.

    I’ve never had a real job and I don’t intend to get one now.

  14. I listen to FM radio but only to NPR. Mostly for brief periods of news and talk programming.

    I listen to Sirius almost every day. It’s an even split between Howard 100/101 and several of the music channels.

    Since getting Sirius I’ve actually reversed my CD/Download trend. I’m buying a lot less music and digging the programming on Sirius instead.

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