What does Portland radio have in common with Abe Vigoda? You know, Abe Vigoda. He played Detective Fish on TV's Barney Miller and a spinoff called Fish. He is best known, at least by me, as Salvatore Tessio in the Godfather. If that still doesn't help, that's Abe's picture next to this article.
Over his lifetime, Abe was declared dead several times even though he was alive and more successful than ever. Just like radio.
The first time Abe was claimed to be DOA was in a 1982 People magazine article. The second time was in a news story on New York TV station WWOR. This mis-reporting of Abe's demise happened so often that it spawned a website www.IsAbeVigodaDead.com.
Every week I meet a Maine business owner who proclaims that they do not advertise on Portland radio anymore because radio is dead. As unequivocal proof, the business owner offers up his or her child who listens to Pandora or a spouse that only uses Sirius/XM.
With the ball firmly in my court, I respond to the business owner's proclamation with a recent article from Forbes (the nation's business magazine) which said, "You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference."
Oh sure, says the small business owner, radio may still reach a lot of people, but people are spending a lot less time listening than they used to.
Pardon my French, but au contraire mon frere. People are spending a ton of time listening to the radio every day. About the same as always, as a matter of fact. How do I know? I consulted Nielsen.
At the end of last year, Nielsen, the leading source of media research in the world, compiled all the data for consumer media. The findings indicate that adults listen to traditional AM/FM radio for 1-hour-and-forty-nine minutes per day. This was about the same amount of time they were listening 3 years ago despite the continued onslaught of new media options.
But how can this be? asks the Maine small business owner.
This is how! If you look closely at the Nielsen chart, consumers are making time to listen to the radio, not by spending less time with other media, but by spending more time using media.
In 2013, adults were consuming media for total of 9 hours and 12 minutes. Two years later, they were spending almost 45 minutes more per day. This affords plenty of time for Maine consumers to stay glued to Portland radio.
By the way, according to www.IsAbeVigodaDead.com finally succumbed in January, 34 years after the first reports of his death. Radio, too, may one day meet its demise. But today is not that day.
According to the fore mentioned articles from Forbes, "It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.
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