You may be used to seeing this sort of headline at RadioInsights, but this is the headline over at Digital Music News, not the sort of source you’d expect.
It’s based on a massive cross-media consumption study conducted by Ofcon, the U.K.’s independent regulator and competition authority for the country’s communications industries.
The report is useful for two primary reasons. First, it examines a wide range of media and activities, more than done in most studies. Secondly, it was done by a regulatory agency, not by a new-media stakeholder that might be interested in coloring the conclusions.
Of special significance to radio is the finding that radio listenership (TSL) has fallen 2% annually since 2004. Daily TSL dropped from 188 minutes to 170 minutes over the five years. The latest estimate works out to be 19.8 hours per week.
You'll recall from a recent post that we estimated TSL in the US dropped 1% last year. The Opcon study is further evidence that broadcast TSL is dropping at a much slower rate than many people think.
Digital Music News reproduced one interesting graph from the study shown at the left. It shows media consumption through the day with television and radio representing a good share of consumption, particularly during morning and afternoon drives.
We want to draw your attention to another graph shown later in the report. It illustrates shared media usage. People are naturally multitaskers. People often leave the radio or TV on while on the computer, for example.
Unfortunately, most studies examine only one medium at a time. One study might tell us how much time people spend on the computer. Another study might determine radio listening. What we rarely see are studies that show how much time people spend (say) listening to the radio while working at the computer.
Years ago when there were few U.K. commercial radio stations, media consumption patterns differed somewhat from US patterns, but more recently commercial radio in the UK has caught up with American broadcast radio. Consequently, the study is a useful read for American radio broadcasters. You can download the PDF here.