Is TV Talk Overtaking Radio Talk?
November 25, 2013
The smartphone revolution is happening fast.Â Over the past few weeks, we have shown you several data points measuring Radioâ€™s health, and TVâ€™s plight, as our audiences rapidly shift to the Digital-Device-Driven Lifestyle.Â All our data is derived from NuVoodooâ€™s most recent national study of Radio listeners 18-54. Among the findings we have shared with you in our most recent columns are:
- Listeners with smartphones listen to about as much Radio as other folks.
- Listeners with smartphones are about as positive about Radio as other folks.
- Radio is still the best way to discover new music.
- Radio still leads all other methods, combined, for listening to music.
- A huge majority, including smartphoners, listens to Radio for most of their driving time.
- Meanwhile, smartphoners are much less likely to watch a lot of TV news.
This week, letâ€™s look at another dimension:Â How is Talk Radio holding up against the onslaught of Talk TV?Â Two decades ago, this was not an issue.Â Talk Radio had a near-monopoly on news-driven opinion talk.Â Then came Fox News, other TV News/Talk channels, and more Talk blocks on other channels.Â One decade ago, some in Radio were fretting that Talk TV would eventually eclipse Talk Radio.Â But today, with TV suffering smartphone/tablet erosion, and with Radio still holding its own, we thought weâ€™d take another look.
First, letâ€™s see which demos are listening, and how much, to Talk Radio:
As expected, Talk usage skews male and 25+.Â Over half the Men 25-54 listen to at least one quarter-hour of Talk per day, and one in five listen to at least one hour. (At the other side of the spectrum, among Women 18-34, only one in five listen to at least one quarter-hour.Â And only one in 20 listen to at least an hour.)
So the next question is:Â are these folks now using Talk TV more, or the same amount, as Talk Radio?
Not at all.Â Talk Radio continues to outperform Talk TV among these listeners.Â Only those who listen to Talk the least, 15-29 minutes a day, say they watch more Talk shows than they listen to. Â Meanwhile, as we saw in the first chart, the overwhelming majority of Talk listeners listen at least one half hour a day.Â Thatâ€™s the constituency we need to protect, represented above by the second, third, and fourth set of bars.Â Among that constituency, Talk Radio beats Talk TV in a landslide.Â Nearly 3 in 5 of them say that half or more of their Talk show time is Radio (the blue bars above).Â And among the real power-users of Talk Radio, those who listen at least 2 hours a day, TV hardly penetrates.Â Nearly 2/3 of them say that Radio gets more than 2/3 of their Talk time (the last purple bar above).
What this means to you
Betting on the future of Talk Radio continues to be a very smart strategy, despite concerns about eventual erosion to TV.
As we have previously shown, TV is being pummeled by the influence of smartphones and DVRâ€™s.Â Viewers are spending less time sitting in front of the box, and most of them are skipping through most/all of the commercials.Â Meanwhile, Radio is holding up well.Â Also, Talk Radio has the advantage of incumbency, and continues to offer unique and compelling product.Â As a result of these three trends, the Talk audience continues to vote overwhelmingly for TV over Radio, with no reversal in sight.