Must be Facebook, you’re thinking.
Everyone’s a member, it’s in the news all the time, and people seem to be obsessed with posting, playing games, or just finding out what friends are doing.
Facebook top line numbers are pretty impressive. Facebook claims something like 200 million active US members. ComScore says the monthly traffic for Facebook is a little over 150 million people.
That’s a lot of people, but radio “membership” is even higher. Arbitron says there are about 200 million people listening to local radio just in the 290 markets they survey. And that is just on radios.
We don’t have an accurate count of the number of people listening to broadcast streams, but according to Triton Digital, subscribing broadcast groups have over 150 million session starts each month and on average have over one-quarter million sessions going.
So we can’t be sure how many people listen to broadcast radio in a month, but it is well over the number of active Facebook members.
But what about time spent with each? Surely people must spend more time with Facebook. The company claims that people spend 6.8 hours on Facebook each month, about 1:35 a week. ComScore puts it at 1:24.
How much time do people spend with local radio stations?
Listeners spend 15:45 a week listening to local radio on the radio. In other words, not counting streams, people spend 10 times as much time listening to broadcast than reading their Facebook page.
Or maybe the significance of Facebook has been inflated by stakeholders dreaming of a billion dollar IPO, pundits who are riding Facebook’s coattails, and a naive press that uncritically believes every new-media press release that shows up in their email.