Both television and radio face aggressive challenges from digital alternatives. Both media have seen a loss of audience as well as a decline in revenue.
The arc of the decline, however, differs between radio and television.
Over the past few years television has seen a greater decline in audience, but a smaller decline in revenue, which begs the question: Do television people understand the digital threat better than radio people?
The graph below encapsulates what’s been happening over the past few years. (Click to enlarge.)
We’ve indexed the latest numbers to comparable numbers in 2011. The current index for daily time spent for radio and television is shown on the left in red.
Radio stands at 95, which means that listeners are spending 5% less time listening to radio compared to 2011. Television stands at 90, which means television has lost 10% of viewing time over the same period.
In other words, television has lost twice as much “time spent” (think of it as consumption) as radio has.
Relatively speaking, good news for radio.
The right hand blue bars show the change in revenue over the same period of time. Radio indexes at 93 compared to television’s 96.
It means that while television has seen its audience decline twice as much as radio, radio has seen its revenue drop nearly twice as much as television.
We're only looking at the past four years, but television’s resiliency is nothing new.
It is a phenomenon that we've been discussing as far back as 2009 on Radio Insights. Here are two posts from 2011 here and here that illustrate that television’s defense against digital has been more effective than radio’s for quite some time.
What is television doing better than radio?
Both legacy media face growing competition from pure-play digital alternatives. Both are witnessing declines in audience.
And one can make the argument that local radio ought to be more nimble able to more quickly respond to digital threats.
Yet television, already a medium three times as large as radio has seemed to manage digital assaults better.
It’s an important issue for both media, so Radio Insights is going to explore this issue in greater detail in future posts.
We’ll identify differences between the two media’s responses to digital’s threats, and what it says about how best to minimize the negative impact of digital.