In Arbitron data just crunched by Public Radio's Radio Research Consortium, some nice trends for Public Radio were noted through Spring – not surprising considering the interest in political news over the past year.
Specifically, CPB-Stations (P12+, Mon-Sun 6a-12m) have recovered to a 5.2% share – an all-time high AQH share percentage.
Thanks to more recent newsworthy events, I would expect this share to rise again this Fall.
This news was tempered by a broader review of radio listening trends overall. Says the report:
In 2008, 92.5% of the population tuned in radio in an average week, down from 92.6% last year. The time spent listening to radio by this cume, on average, was just under 18 hours per week, roughly 45 minutes less than a year ago.
So while the proportion of the population tuning in radio is relatively steady, the time they spend listening is off by 45 minutes in just one year.
How this trend has been influenced by what I presume are mixed PPM/diary data is not clear to me. Nor is it clear what the effect is of listening to station streams which are very poorly recorded in diaries and – where they are recorded – often count against the host station in ratings since the spots don't match exactly.
Here's the RRC chart showing declines in AQH Rating for radio overall since 1980. Note that this Spring marks a new low. This is not for PUBLIC radio, it's for ALL radio.
So it's clear, I don't publish this to be "negative." I do so to be practical.
Unless we develop strategies that deal with the world as it is rather than as we wish it to be, we will never be effective in addressing the threats and opportunities which face us.